Carnatic Ragas

Raga List

Carnatic Scale - VAKULABHARANAM (C)

Known as Dhativasantabhairavi or Vativasantabhairavi in Muthuswami Dikshitar school of Carnatic music, Vakulabharanam is the 14th raga Melakarta system of Carnatic music. It is again a sampoorna raga with all the seven notes present.
Arohana: S R1 G3 M1 P D1 N2 S
Avarohana: S N2 D1 P M1 G3 R1 S
The notes are shadjam, shuddha rishabham, antara gandharam, shuddha madhyamam, panjamam, shuddha dhaivatham and kaisiki nishadham. Namanarayani is the raga that you get when you replace the shuddha madhyamam in Vakulabharanam with prati madhyamam.
The third chakra has already started with the 13th raga Gayikapriya and the next in line Vakulabharanam is the second raga in the Agni chakra. It has mnemonic name Agni-Sri.
In the list made by Venkatamakhin, Vativasantabhairavi comes in the 14th position with the swaras in the ascending scale similar to that of Vakulabharanam. But in the descending scale, there is some vakra prayoga where the notes are in zig zag order.
Arohana: S R1 G3 M1 P D1 N2 S
Avarohana: S N2 D1 M1 G3 M1 P M1 G3 R1 S
Vakulabharanam has quite a few janya ragas out of which Vasantabhairavi are often chosen by musicians to make the concerts lively. Some of the other janya ragas include Aahiri, AmudhaSurabhi, DeviPriya and Kalindaja to name a few. The raga when sung creates a mood of sorrow which must be the reason it is less heard than its popular janya ragas.
When shifted using Graha bhedam, there are three ragas that are obtained. Out of the three, two are major Melakarta ragas – Keeravani and Hemavati and the third one is a minor Melakarta raga – Kosalam. The Hindustani raga similar to Vakulabharanam is Basant Mukhari. Vakulabharanam also has a relative in Arabic music known as Hijaz-Nahawand which finds its place in Greek, Jewish, Arab, Turkish and Egyptian music.
This melancholic raga Vakulabharanam has a western counterpart known as Spanish Gypsy scale or Phrygian Dominant mode. As already discussed, the scale is so flexible that it finds it use across multiple genres like Hard Rock, Jazz and Classic Rock among many others. No surprise that legends of guitar like Jimmy Page and Dave Murray used this scale extensively. Al Di Meola’s Egyptian Danza and Iron Maiden’s Powerslave are two popular songs in this
The famous compositions set to this raga include Ye ramuni nammitino by Thyagaraja, Gowrinatham by Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi, Nambinen ayya by Koteeswara Iyer and Rama namamai by Mysore Vasudevachar. Talking about movie songs in this beautiful raga, the list of Tamil songs is unending. Composers have lavishly used this raga to create brilliant compositions to add colour to the movies. Some of them are listed below.
List of Tamil songs in Vakulabharanam raga:
• Ninaithen Vanthai (Film Kaavalkaaran)
• Pattathu Rani (Film Sivandha Mann)
• Thuluvadho Ilamai (Film Kudiyirundha Koyil)
• Naam Oruvarai Oruvar (Film Ragasiya Police 115)
• Sambo Sivasambo (Film Ninaithale Inikkum)
• Kinnaththil Then (Film Ilamai Oonjal Aadukirathu)
• Aarum Athu Aalam Illa (Film Muthal Vasantham)
• Aasai Nooruvagai (Film Adutha Varisu)
• Oru Thendral (Film Pudhumai Penn)
• Pachondiyyeh Kelada (Film Andha Oru Nimidam)
List of Malayalam songs in Vakulabharanam raga
• Innaleyolavum (Film Darshanam)
• Yesu Mahesa (Film Agrajan)
• Allavin Thirusabhayil (Film Jayikkaanaay Janichavan)
• Kaalanillakkaalam (Film Thozhil Allengil Jail)
• Kaiyyil Thenkinnam (Film Miss Stella)
• Kai Thudi Thalam (Film Kalyanaraman)

Spanish Gipsy scale
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