Varali or Varaali (pronounced varāḷi) is a rāgam in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is a janya rāgam (derived scale) from the 39th melakarta scale Jhalavarali. It is a janya scale, as it is said to have a vakra scale (zig-zag notes) in the ascending scale.
It is a vivadi rāgam. It is the 4th in the list of 5 Ghana rāgams (Nata (raga), Gaula, Arabhi and Shree ragam being the others). In olden times, this rāgam was called Varati, and is said to be more than 1300 years old. It is with this name that it is referred in old musical texts like Sangita Makarandha and Sangita Ratnakara.
Structure and Lakshana
Varali is an asymmetric rāgam due to the vakra prayoga in ascending scale. It is a vakra-sampurna-sampurna rāgam (sampurna meaning containing all 7 notes). Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure (ascending and descending scale) is as follows:
The notes used in this scale are shadjam, shuddha rishabham, shuddha gandharam, prati madhyamam, panchamam, shuddha dhaivatam and kakali nishadham. The madhyamam used is said to be slightly higher than the prati madhyamam, and is also called as chyuta panchama madhyamam (also referred as Varali madhyamam). For the details of the notations and terms, see swaras in Carnatic music.
It is believed that Varali, when taught directly by a teacher to a student, will strain their relationship or could cause ill effects to one or the other. The ragam is said to be learnt by listening and self-learning.
- The fourth Pancharatna Kriti Kanakana ruchira composed by Tyagaraja, the fourth of the 5 gems
- Eti janmamiti and Marakathamani by Tyagaraja
- Mamava Meenakshi and Seshachala by Muthuswami Dikshitar
- Karunajudavamma by Shyama Shastri
- Mamava Padmanabha by Swathi Thirunal
- Intha prodayye and Valapu by Kshetrajna padam
- Ka Vaa Vaa by Papanasam Sivan
- Valayunniha a Malayalam Padam by Swathi Thirunal
- Raganidhi by P. Subba Rao, Pub. 1964, The Music Academy of Madras
- Ragas in Carnatic music by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications
- Summary of the Raganubhava session on Varali on 13 February 2000