Madhyamavati (madhyamāvati) is a rāga in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is an audava rāga (or owdava rāga, meaning pentatonic scale). It is a janya rāga (derived scale), as it does not have all the seven musical notes (swaras). The equivalent of Madhyamavati in Hindustani music is Madhumad Sarang.
It is considered a very auspicious rāgam and every Carnatic music concert ends with either a song in Madhyamavati or the ending of the last song is sung in this rāgam. It is very suitable for elaboration and exploration due to even spacing of notes. The scale uses the first three notes of the cycle of fifths S, P and R2 and fourths S, M1 and N2.
Structure and Lakshana
Madhyamavati is a symmetric rāgam that does not contain gāndhāram or dhaivatam. It is a pentatonic scale (audava-audava rāgam 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):
This scale uses the notes chatushruti rishabham, shuddha madhyamam, panchamam and kaisiki nishadam. Madhyamavati is considered a janya rāgam of Kharaharapriya, the 22nd Melakarta rāgam, though it can be derived from other melakarta rāgams, Charukesi, Natabhairavi or Harikambhoji, by dropping both gāndhāram and dhaivatam.
Madhyamavati rāgam lends itself for extensive elaboration and exploration and has many compositions. Here are some popular kritis composed in this scale.
- Bhagyada Lakshmi Baaramma by Purandara Dasaru in Kannada
- Adivo Alladivo by Annamacharya in Telugu
- Allagallalla, Nadupai and Muchchada brahma and Rama Katha Sudha by Tyagaraja in Telugu
- Dharmasamvardhini by Muthuswami Dikshitar in Sanskrit
- Palimsu kamakshi by Shyama Sastri in Telugu
- Ramabhirama by Mysore Vasudevachar
- Saravanabhava and Karpagame kan by Papanasam Sivan
- Kosalendra mamavamita by Swati tirunal
This section covers the theoretical and scientific aspect of this rāgam.
Madhyamavati's notes when shifted using Graha bhedam, yields 4 other major pentatonic rāgams, namely, Mohanam, Hindolam, Shuddha Saveri and Udayaravichandrika (also known as Shuddha Dhanyasi). 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 Mohanam.
- Kedaragaula is a rāgam which has the ascending scale of Madhyamavati and descending scale of Harikambhoji. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 M1 P N2 S : S N2 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S
- Manirangu is a rāgam which has gāndhāram in the descending scale, while all other notes in both the ascending and descending scale are same as Madhyamavati. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 M1 P N2 S : S N2 P M1 G2 R2 S
- Revati is a rāgam which has shuddha rishabham in place of chatushruti rishabham in the scale, while all other notes are same as Madhyamavati. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R1 M1 P N2 S : S N2 P M1 R1 S
- Brindāvana Sāranga is also a rāgam that has some similarities in scale with Madhyamavati. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 M1 P N3 S : S N2 P M1 R2 G2 S
- Andolika is an asymmetric rāgam which has chatusruti dhaivatam in place of panchamam only in the descending scale, while all other notes are same as Madhyamavati. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 M1 P N2 S : S N2 D2 M1 R2 S
- Raganidhi by P. Subba Rao, Pub. 1964, The Music Academy of Madras
- Ragas in Carnatic music by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications