Sahana (raga)

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Sahana (pronounced sahānā) is a popular rāgam (musical scale) in Carnatic music. It is a janya rāgam (derived scale) associated with the 28th Melakarta rāgam Harikambhoji.

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[edit]

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.

Sahana has a close relationship to Dwijawanthi/Jujavanti. The use of Anthara Gaandharam in R2 G2 R2 makes it different from Dwijawanthi, while Dwijawanthi uses Saadharana Gaandharam.

Select compositions[edit]

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.

In films / television[edit]