Mohanam (Kannada: ಮೋಹನ; மோஹனம்) is a rāga in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music).One of the first scales employed by the ancient Tamils was the Mullaippann(3BCE), a pentatonic scale composed of the notes sa ri ga pa da equivalent to C, D, E, G and A in the western notations. These fully harmonic scales, constitutes the raga Mohanam in the Carnatic music style.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 swaras (musical notes).
Structure and Lakshana
Mohanam is a symmetric rāga that does not contain madhyamam or nishādham. It is a symmetric pentatonic scale (audava-audava raga 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, chathusruthi rishabham, antara gandharam, panchamam, chathusruthi dhaivatham)
Mohanam is considered a janya rāga of Harikambhoji, the 28th Melakarta rāga, though it can be derived from other melakarta rāgas, Kalyani, Sankarabharanam or Vachaspati, by dropping both madhyamam and nishādham. The Hindustani equivalent Bhoop is associated with Kalyan thaat (equivalent of Kalyani).
Mohanam rāga lends itself for extensive elaboration and exploration and has many compositions in both classical music and film music. The geetham Varavina mrithupani is one of the first short songs taught to beginners in Carnatic music. Ninnukori composed by Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar is a popular Varnam in this scale. Here are some popular kritis composed in Mohanam.
- Mohana rama, Nannu palimpa,Darayani, Rama ninnu nammina, Evarura ninnuvina and Bhavanutha by Thyagaraja
- Narasimha Agache by Muthuswamy Dikshitar
- Kapaali, karunai and Narayana divyanamam by Papanasam Sivan
- Rara Rajeevalochana by Mysore Vasudevachar
- En palli kondeer aiyya by Arunachala Kavi
- Kshemam kuru by Narayana Teertha
- Swagatham Krishna by Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi
- Pari pahimam Nrihara by Swati Thirunal
- Sada paalaya sarasakshi by G N Balasubramaniam
- Mohanam tavavapurai by Swathi Thirunal
- Malargal Nanaindhana Paniyale by K V Mahadevan rendered by P Susheela
- Ninnukkori Varnam by Ilayaraaja rendered by K S Chithra
- Ayyan Malai Engal Malai by Manachanallur Giridharan rendered by P. Unni Krishnan
This section covers the theoretical and scientific aspect of this rāga.
Mohanam's notes when shifted using Graha bhedam, yields 4 other major pentatonic rāgas, namely, Hindolam, Shuddha Saveri, Udayaravichandrika (also known as Shuddha Dhanyasi) and Madhyamavati. Graha bhedam is the step taken in keeping the relative note frequencies same, while shifting the shadjam to the next note in the rāga. For more details and illustration of this concept refer Graha bhedam on Mohanam.
- Mohanakalyani is a rāga which has the ascending scale of Mohanam and descending scale of Kalyani. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 G3 P D2 S : S N3 D2 P M2 G3 R2 S
- Bilahari is a rāga which has the ascending scale of Mohanam and descending scale of Sankarabharanam. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 G3 P D2 S : S N3 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S
- Garudadhvani is a rāga which has the ascending scale of Sankarabharanam and descending scale of Mohanam. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S : S D2 P G3 R2 S
- Shivaranjani rāga differs from Mohanam only by the gāndhāram. It uses sadharana gāndhāram instead of antara gāndhāram and its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 G2 P D2 S : S D2 P G2 R2 S
- Hamsadhvani rāga uses nishadam in place of dhaivatam. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 G3 P N3 S : S N3 P G3 R2 S
- Vaasanthi rāga differs from Mohanam only by the daivatham. It uses shudda daivatham instead of chatushruti daivatham and its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 G3 P D1 S : S D1 P G3 R2 S
- Niroshta rāga uses nishadam in place of panchamam. Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is S R2 G3 D2 N3 S : S N3 D2 G3 R2 S
- Mani, Charulatha. "Magical Mohanam". The Hindu.
- Ragas in Carnatic music by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications
- Raganidhi by P. Subba Rao, Pub. 1964, The Music Academy of Madras