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RR
28th August 2005, 01:09 PM
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SaRiGaPaDhaSa family, Neighbours of Mohanam and TFM</P>
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Introduction</P>

<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Mohanam means charm, attractiveness, bewitching. Such is the beauty of this raga. (Actually Mohanam also means beauty!) Hundreds (or is it thousands?) of film hits in this raga vouch for it. </FONT><FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2>See here</FONT> (http://tfmpage.com/forum/classical.html)<FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2> for a glimpse. Not just in India, it's an extremely popular scale in Asian music as well. Where does all this come from? Just fives swaras Sa Ri Ga Pa Dha, of which Mohanam is composed of! When I said Sa Ri Ga Pa Dha, were you reminded of the "Sa Sa Sa Ri Ga, Ri Ri Ri Ga Sa.... Sa Dha Pa" sung by Latha Rajnikanth in kukuku koo koovum kuyilakka (Valli - Listen (http://forumhub.mayyam.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl?url=http://forumhub.mayyam.com/tfmmagazine/sep05/valli-kukuku.rm))? Yes, that is Mohanam. Now, a technical fact. Mohanam has 5 swaras and they are Sa Ri Ga Pa Dha, but having Sa Ri Ga Pa Dha does not imply Mohanam. *Blink* What does that mean? Before answering that, let's look at a mapping of the swaras on a keyboard.</P>



Some Theory</P>
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| |##| |##| | |##| |##| |##| |
| |##| |##| | |##| |##| |##| |
| |R1| |R3| | |M2| |D1| |D3| |
| |##| |G2| | |##| |##| |N2| |
| |__| |__| | |__| |__| |__| |
| | | | | | | |
| S | R2 | G3 | M1 | P | D2 | N3 |
| | G1 | | | | N1 | |
|____|____|____|____|____|____|____|</PRE>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">The figure shows the swara mapping using the standard notation (taking C as Sadjam). The swaras corresponding to Mohanam are S R2 G3 P D2. (In western notation, C D E G A.) If you have a keyboard of your own, you can play these notes and get the lilting feel of Mohanam. Now, looking at the figure more carefully, we see that there are 3 Ri's (R1 R2 R3), 3 Ga's (G1 G2 G3), 2 Ma's (M1 M2), and so on. And that some of these overlap. For example, R2 is equivalent to G1, R3 to G2, etc. (Don't ask me why all this confusion, it's supposed to be convention.). Let's bring back our key question again: Does having Sa Ri Ga Pa Dha imply Mohanam? Now, if you have been following me, you'll immediately ask "Which Ri? Which Ga? which Dha?" Yes, that's right. Depending on which Ri,Ga or Dha is picked, you may get a new raga. When they are precisely R2, G3 and D2, we'll get Mohanam. Now, what about the other combinations? Which ragas these swaras correspond to? Curious, aren't you? Let's investigate. </P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">SaRiGaPaDhaSa Family</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">There are 3 each of R,G and D, so the SaRiGaPaDhaSa family theorectically may have as many as 27 ragas. (Some of them are actually invalid because of swara overlap, e.g. R2 = G1.) We don't have time for all of them. In this article, we'll only look at the nearest neighbours of Mohanam and tamil film songs on these ragas. By nearest neighbours I mean ragas that differ from Mohanam in exactly one swara. For example, S R1 G3 P D2 is an immediate neighbour (only R2 has changed) whereas S R1 G2 P D2 is not (both R2 G3 have changed). How many such neighbours are there? We can change R2 -&gt; R1 or R3, G3 -&gt; G1 or G2, and D2 -&gt; D1 or D3. So, 6 possibilities. </P>
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S R1 G3 P D2 (R2 -&gt; R1)

S R3 G3 P D2 (R2 -&gt; R3)

S R2 G1 P D2 (G3 -&gt; G1)

S R2 G2 P D2 (G3 -&gt; G2)

S R2 G3 P D1 (D2 -&gt; D1)

S R2 G3 P D3 (D2 -&gt; D3)




<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Among these, No. 3 is not a valid member because R2 is same as G1 and hence not a 5 note raga. Also No. 6 by convention should be S R2 G3 P N2 (note that D3 = N2). So, this raga (a rare one, called Veena Vaadhini) is also out. That leaves 4 ragas.</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Neighbours of Mohanam</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">1. S R1 G3 P D2</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">This raga is known as Rasika Ranjani. I have not heard a carnatic composition in this raga but this raga has been a hit in TFM! Ilaiyaraja is the one who introduced it in Koyil Pura (1981). The song was azhage thamizhe. Just look at the first line: </P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial">azhage thamizhe azhigiya mozhiye enadhuyire

sr g sr g sr gp gr s sr s d.s
</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2><P ALIGN="JUSTIFY"> </P>
<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">He takes a nice sweep along the scale and gives a glimpse of the raga swaroopa. You may notice that just a touch of R1 is enough to differentiate it from Mohanam. The tune is simple &amp; sweet. But Ilaiyaraja reserved the best of Rasika Ranjani till 1984, for an obscure movie Magudi! The song was the beautiful neelakkuyile unnodu thaan – Listen (http://forumhub.mayyam.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl?url=http://forumhub.mayyam.com/tfmmagazine/sep05/neelakkuyile.rm). Look at the start again:</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">gpgrs rssd.s sr gpgr gpgr srg.... gpdpgp S</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">and also the following brief alap. What a prelude to start off a wonderful song! I could go on writing more but the purpose here is to give a gilmspe at the beauty of Mohanam's neighbours, so let's move on to the next.</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">2. S R2 G2 P D2</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">This is the hugely popular Sivaranjani. We have tons of songs all over the Indian film music, including TFM. Curiously almost all decent tunes in this raga have become hits. Here are a few:</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">avaravar vaazhkkaiyil (paandavar boomi - Listen (http://forumhub.mayyam.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl?url=http://forumhub.mayyam.com/tfmmagazine/sep05/avaravar.rm)). It starts</P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial">avaravar vaazhkaiyil aayiram aayiram maattrangal

gg g r s g r s r s d.p.p. d. s s</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Good tune. Note how G2 gives a distinctive feel for this raga (compared to mohanam).</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">kaathirundhu (vaidegi kaathirunthaal)</P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial">kaaththirundhu kaaththirundhu kaalangal ponadhadi

p p p p p d d d p d p g r s s</P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2><P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Notice the jump from p to g in "ponadhadi". A standard sivaranjani signature, that gives a jolt!</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">There are some pretty good hindi numbers as well. "jaane kahaan gaye" (mera naam joker) is a cool sivaranjani that just scans the sivaranjani scale to the upper octave and then down. Yet a lovable tune.</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">3. S R3 G3 P D2</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">I don't know the name of this raga, but this is sort of a 'tough' raga because of the usage of R3 &amp; G3. This is popularly used in TFM with R2. (So the raga is actually S R2 G2 G3 P D2!) It is called Misra Sivaranjani.</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">A great example is yezhisai geethame (Rasigan oru rasigai - Listen (http://forumhub.mayyam.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl?url=http://forumhub.mayyam.com/tfmmagazine/sep05/yezhisai.rm)). Let us look at the first few lines:</P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial">yezhisai geedhame enakoru jeevan neeye

sgr s sd.d. srg sd.r s srgsd. s s</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Here it's basically sivaranjani. </P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial">vaazhum kaalam yaavum unakkaaga naandhaan

sg rg sd.s sg rg pd srgrs rg g rg3</P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2><P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Now watch carefully the ending at 'naan dhaan'. G3 in touched to give a beautiful twist. That's Misra sivaranjani! This is further explored in the next line 'kaaviya veenayil..'.</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">kudagu malai kaatril oru (karagaattakkaaran) is another example. Listen specifically to the end of the pallavi "otha vazhi en vazhi thaane..maane". </P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">The usage of R2, G2 &amp; G3 (2 adjacent semitones) gives a pathos feel that is widely exploited in film songs. An excellent example in Hindi is "mere naina saawan baadho" (Mehbooba). The line to watch comes in middle of charanam - "in honThon pe aaye-ey-ey". </P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Some misra sivaranjani songs also touch D1, but the stress on G3 is the key.</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">4. S R2 G3 P D1</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">This raga is called Vaasandhi (which sometimes allows D2 also). Let's take kurukku chiruthavale (mudhalvan - Listen (http://forumhub.mayyam.com/cgi-bin/stream.pl?url=http://forumhub.mayyam.com/tfmmagazine/sep05/kurukku.rm)) for illustration. The starting theme gives a brief clue of the raga. Later the female voice enters with, </P>
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oru kaNNil neer kasiya

gg p p p p p d</P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2><P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Do you see something emotive at the end of this line? That's vaasandhi's D1, which is further explored in </P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial">udhattu vazhi usir kasiya

pd p p g gg gr sggrs</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">adho mega oorvalam (Eramaana rojaave):</P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial">adhoa maega oorvalam adhoa minnal thoaranam angae

ss r r g gp gr ss r r g gp gr d p</P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2><P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Notice the vaasanthi feel again at the end. Also at the start of charanam 1:</P>
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</FONT><FONT FACE="Arial">unadhu paadham adadada ilavam panju

SR S p g gp d p gd p gr s</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">Summary</P>
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<P ALIGN="JUSTIFY">In summary, there are four nearest neighbours of Mohanam namely: Rasika Ranjani, Sivaranjani, Misra Sivaranjani and Vaasandhi, and each has an intrinsic beauty and lilt. TFM MD's have exploited this to give many hits in TFM. What is (probably) surprising is: all the neighbours have a feel that is quite distinct from Mohanam, even though only one note has been tweaked. Perhaps Mohanam is at such a melodic peak in the raga space that a slight perturbation throws it up somewhere! Some other observations are: For all these ragas (including Mohanam), one can play the notes on a keyboard and still get pretty good feel of the raga. And, Ilaiyaraja is only one to have composed a song in all the ragas!</P>
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-RR

Nitya
2nd September 2005, 05:50 AM
Nice write-up, RR.


This raaga, s r3 g3 p d2 S, is called Vikhavathi. I haven't come across any film or classical songs in this raaga though.

RR
2nd September 2005, 08:54 AM
Nitya,

Thanks for the comments and info.

S.Balaji
5th September 2005, 07:34 PM
Beautiful presentation R.R....

What about Mohana Kalyani..... I am sure you must have listened to Maharajapuram's famous song.. Buvaneswariyaa.written by Harikeshanallur Muthaiya Bhagavathar.. The aalapanai itself will take 15 minutes...
and also by Sudha Raghunathan's ... Siddhivinayakam....

Mohana Kalyani is another beautiful raga.... Very melodius....

RR
6th September 2005, 02:02 PM
Thanks S.Balaji.

Yes, Mohana Kalyani is a wonderful raga. Apart from those two songs, Lalgudi's thillana is also a good one. But this raga takes M2 & N3 in the decent so it's not a member of Sarigapadhasa family I considered. Actually I have taken up only 4 ragas of this family. There are two more famous ragas from this family (but not nearest neighbours of Mohanam): Bhoopalam & Revagupti. There are film hits in these too.

S.Balaji
6th September 2005, 02:16 PM
Thanks S.Balaji.

Yes, Mohana Kalyani is a wonderful raga. Apart from those two songs, Lalgudi's thillana is also a good one. But this raga takes M2 & N3 in the decent so it's not a member of Sarigapadhasa family I considered. Actually I have taken up only 4 ragas of this family. There are two more famous ragas from this family (but not nearest neighbours of Mohanam): Bhoopalam & Revagupti. There are film hits in these too.

Mr. RR ...

I think you are referring to the CD of Lalgudi's THillana ... starts with Mohana kalyani only ... You are correct. ENNAKKU MEI SILIRKIRADHU... when I type this posting...
Wonderful exhibition by Lalgudi ( I bought this CD in 1994 )...
The next thillana was Desh I think....followed by Hamir Kalyani...Pahaadi.....etc etc..

About Boopalam... I recollect the song.. VAIGAI NEERAADA... VAANIL THERODA... MANADHINIL NEEYAADA MAALAGAL AADA..
Sang by MV and SJ...

Great...

Can you pls put a special thread for Kalyani as well....analysing threadbare... because Kalyani was used quite frequently by MDs...

RR
13th September 2005, 10:38 AM
(Sorry for the delay)

S. Balaji,

Yes I meant Lalgudi 'DOS' album. Your memory is good. It's a great album no doubt. I'm not sure a vol-II of that came out, because Lalgudi has many more thillanas and all of them are treasures. Great composer he is.. Now to the topic,

Yes 'vaigai neeraada' is a nice one.

On Kalyani, it's been written lots and lots. Just search the web. Actually I myself did one during mid 90's - more from a classical perspective. So my next article will probably be different. But I'm still open for other suggestions.

Indrajith
8th November 2005, 04:55 PM
Good work!! Keep it up.