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Hamsanadam (pronounced hamsanādam) is a rāgam in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is a pentatonic scale (audava rāgam, which means "of 5"), as it is sung in current days.[1] It is a derived scale (janya rāgam), as it does not have all the seven swaras (musical notes), from the 60th Melakarta rāgam Neetimati.[1]

Structure and Lakshana[edit]

Hamsanadam scale with shadjam at C

Hamsanadam, as it is sung now-a-days, is a symmetric scale that does not contain gandharam and dhaivatam. It is called an audava rāgam,[1] in Carnatic music classification (as it has 5 notes in both ascending and descending scales). Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure is as follows (see swaras in Carnatic music for details on below notation and terms):

This scale uses the notes shadjam, chatusruti rishabham, prati madhyamam, panchamam and kakali nishadam.

Other structures[edit]

Earlier structure of this scale were as follows:[1][2]

  • Ascending scale : S R2 M2 P D3 N3 S
  • Descending scale : S N3 D3 P M2 R2 S

In the above, shatsruti dhaivatam is added in the scale compared to current usage (shadava scale with 6 notes in ascendinga and descending scale), with a vakra prayoga (zig-zag descending scale).[1][2]

Popular compositions[edit]

Hamsanadam has a few popular compositions:


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