Mohanam

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Mohanam 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 swaras (musical notes).

The equivalent of Mohanam in Hindustani music is Bhoop[1] (or Bhopali[2]).

It is one of the common pentatonic scales across the world[1] and is very popular in East Asian and South-east Asian music, including China and Japan.

Structure and Lakshana[edit]

Mohanam scale with shadjam at C

Mohanam is a symmetric rāga that does not contain madhyamam or nishādham. It is a symmetric pentatonic scale (audava-audava raga[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, 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).

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.

Popular compositions[edit]

Mohanam rāga lends itself for extensive elaboration and exploration and has many compositions in both classical music and film music.

Kritis[edit]

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.

Tamil Film Songs[edit]

Song Movie Author Composer Singer
Ninu Kori Varnam Sarisari Agni Natchatram Ilayaraja Chitra
Porale Ponnuthayi Karuthamma A. R. Rahman Swarnalatha
Pakkada Pakkade Gentleman A. R. Rahman

Telugu Film Songs[edit]

Song Movie Author Composer Singer
Mounamga Manasu Padina Gundamma Katha Pingali Nagendrarao S. Rajaswara Rao Ghantasala
Seelamu Galavari Chinavada Palnati Yudhham Malladi Ramakrishna Sastry S. Rajaswara Rao Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, P. Susheela
Echatanunchi Veecheno Ee Challanigaali Appu Chesi Pappukudu Pingali Nagendrarao Pendyala Nageswarrao Ghantasala, P. Susheela
Manasu Parimalinchene Tanuvu Paravasinchene Srikrishnarjuna Yuddham Pingali Nagendrarao Pendyala Nageswarrao Ghantasala, P. Susheela
Mohanraga Maha Murthymanthamaye Mahamantri Timmarasu Pingali Nagendrarao Pendyala Nageswarrao Ghantasala, P. Susheela
Lahirilo Lahirilo Mayabazaar Pingali Nagendrarao S. Rajaswara Rao Ghantasala, P. Leela
Madhilo Veenalu Mroge Atmeeyulu Dasarathi S. Rajeswara Rao P. Susheela
Padavela Radhika Pranayasudha Geethika Iddaru Mitrulu SriSri S. Rajeswara Rao Ghantasala, P. Susheela
Nemalaki Nerpian Nadakalivi Saptapadi Veturi Sundarrammurthy K. V. Mahadevan S. Janaki
Akasamlo Asala Harivillu Swarnakamalam Sirivennela Seetarammurthy Ilayaraja S. Janaki
Ninu Kori Varnam Sarisari Gharshana Rajasree Ilayaraja Chitra, Vani Jayaram
Maaterani Chinnadhani O Papa Lali Rajasree Ilayaraja S. P. Balasubramanyam
Chinnadana Osi Chinnadana Premalekha Bhuvanachandra Deva Krishnaraj

Related rāgas[edit]

This section covers the theoretical and scientific aspect of this rāga.

Graha bhedam[edit]

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.

Scale similarities[edit]

  • 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

References[edit]

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