The Hindustani music ragam Sahana is an upper-tetrachord-dominant Kanada-anga raga, from the Kafi thaat, also allied with Bageshree and Bhimpalasi. The shuddha Dhaivat is an important rest note (nyaas swara).
Structure and Lakshana
It is a Ubhaya Vakra sampoorna ragam. Vakra means crooked. Ubhaya Vakra means that the notes in both ascent and descent follow a zig zag pattern. The notes in ascending and descending scale do not follow a strict progression. Hence the note phrases contain such vakra phrases, lending a unique beauty to this rāgam. Though it is a sampoorna rāgam (contains all 7 notes), the vakra scale means it is not considered a melakarta, as melakarta rāgams must have strictly ascending and descending scales. It is also classified as a rakti raga (raga with high melodic content).
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, Suddha Madhyamam, Panchamam, Chathusruthi Dhaivatham and Kaisiki Nishadham.
Its characteristic phrases are (R2 G3 M1 P),(P M1 D2 N2), (N2 S D2), (G3 M1 R2). Sahana has a distinct mood due to these phrases and characteristic gamakams and is rarely confused with other ragams.
There are a large number of popular songs composed in this rāgam in Carnatic Music as well as Tamil Film Music. Here are some Carnatic music compositions.
- Raghupate rama rakshasa bhima,Ee Vasudha,Giripai nelakona, dEhi tavapada bhaktim, oorake kalguna, Emana Dichevo and Vandanamu raghunandana composed by Thyagaraja
- Rama ika nannu brovara by Patnam Subramania Iyer
- Manamu kavalannu by Muthiah Bhagavatar
- Sri kamalambikaya by Muthuswami Dikshitar
- Inkevarunnaaru nannu" in Adi thalam by Annaswaami Sastri s/o Subbaraya Sastri
- Saravana Bhava in Adi thalam by Thanjavur Sankara Iyer
- Sri Vatapi Ganapathiye in Adi thalam by Papanasam Sivan
- Kavave Kanyakumari by Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna
- Karunimpa, Varnam by Tiruvottiyur Tyaggaya
- Chittam Irangada by Papanasam Sivan
- Shanti Neelava Vendum by Sethumadhava Rao
In films / television
- "Pathiniye Unpol Itharaimeethinil" by S. V. Venkataraman (Kannagi)
- "Paarthen Sirithen" by K. V. Mahadevan (Veerabhimanyu)
- "Thamiyen Painthamizh" by Papanasam Sivan, G. Ramanathan (Sivakavi)
- "Ennamellam" by S. M. Subbaiah Naidu (Thirumanam)
- "Engo pirandavaram" by S. Balachandar (Bommai)
- "Aadhi nathan ketkindran" by M.S. Viswanathan (Ganga Gowri)
- "Indha Veenaiku Theriyadhu" by V.S. Narasimhan (Rail Sneham - TV Serial)
- "Rukku Rukku" by Deva (Avvai Shanmughi)
- "Azhage Sugama" by A. R. Rahman (Parthale Paravasam)
- "Chentharmizhi" by M. Jayachandran (Perumazhakkalam - Malayalam)
- "Aanmaavin Raagam" by Rajesh Vaidhya (Sahana - TV Serial)