Amritavarshini

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Amr̥tavarṣiṇi is a rāgam in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is an audava rāgam (or owdava rāgam, meaning pentatonic scale). It is a janya rāgam (derived scale), as it does not have all the seven swaras (musical notes).

It is a common pentatonic scale of Carnatic music and is believed to produce rain. It is said that the Carnatic composer Muthuswami Dikshitar brought rain at Ettayapuram, Tamil Nadu, India by singing his composition Aanandaamrutakarshini Amrutavarshini.[1][2]

Structure and Lakshana[edit]

Amritavarshini scale with shadjam at C

Amr̥tavarṣiṇi is a rāgam that does not contain rishabham or dhaivatam. It is a symmetric pentatonic scale (audava-audava ragam[1][2] in Carnatic music classification – audava meaning 'of 5'). Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure (ascending and descending scale) is as follows (see swaras in Carnatic music for details on below notation and terms):

The notes used in this scale are shadjam, antara gandharam, prati madhyamam, panchamam, kakali nishādam)

Amr̥tavarṣiṇi is considered a janya rāgam of Chitrambari, the 66th Melakarta rāgam, though it can be derived from other melakarta rāgams, Kalyani, Gamanashrama or Vishwambari, by dropping both rishabham and dhaivatam.

There is another scale that has the same name but is less practiced in current performances. This scale is associated with the 39th melakarta Jhalavarali.[1][2]

Popular compositions[edit]

Amr̥tavarṣiṇi rāgam lends itself for extensive elaboration and exploration due to the symmetric and pentatonic scale. It has many compositions in both classical music and film music.Here are some popular kritis and film music composed in Amr̥tavarṣiṇi.

  • Sarasiruhanayane by Thyagaraja(usually said misattributed)
  • Sarasijaasani by Muthuswami Dikshitar
  • Aanandaamrutakarshini Amritavarshini by Muthuswami Dikshitar
  • Anni Mantramuli Inde Avahinchenu by Annamacharya
  • Sudhamayee sudhanidi by Muthiah Bhagavatar


The film song" 'Thoongadha Vizhigal Rendu by Ilayaraja is set in Amritavarshini.

Raga relationships[edit]

Graha bhēdham[edit]

Amritavarshini's notes when shifted using Graha bhedam, yields 1 popular pentatonic rāgam, Karnataka Shuddha Saveri. Graha bhedam is the step taken in keeping the relative note frequencies same, while shifting the shadjam to the next note in the rāgam. For more details and illustration of this concept refer Graha bhedam on Amr̥tavarṣiṇi .

Scale similarities[edit]

  • Hamsadhvani is a rāgam which has chatushruti rishabham in place of the prati madhyamam. See table below for more details
  • Gambhiranata is a rāgam which has shuddha madhyamam in place of the prati madhyamam. See table below for more details
Rāgam Śruti
Tonic
C D E F G A B C
Amr̥tavarṣiṇi C S G3 M2 P N3 S'
Hamsadhvani C S R2 G3 P N3 S'
Gambhiranata C S G3 M1 P N3 S'

See also[edit]

List of Film Songs based on Ragas

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ragas in Carnatic music by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications
  2. ^ a b c Rāganidhi by P. Subba Rao, Pub. 1964, The Music Academy of Madras