Saturday, June 02, 2007



This is a pentatonic raga : S G2 M1 P N3

A very attractive raga, has a very unique emotion. Was used by Ilayaraja in two songs: Oh Vasantha raja and Sindhiya Venmani.

Random notes:

0. I am not aware of any old carnatic krithis is this raga; there are one or two krithis composed by contemporary musicians. This leads to the question: Did Ilayaraja discover this raga with his 1984 song?

1. In both of the songs, ilayaraja mixes another raga -- was this because of lack of posibilities in srotaswini?

2. I first encountered this raga when I was playing Shanmugapriya and tried graha bedham with the notes G2 M2 D1 N2 R2 G2, with G2 as S.


(From a Professor SRJ lec-dem on this) This is the actual scale of udayaravichandrika in olden days. I think Shahaji's work on music has it. Udayaravichandrika nowadays is of course another name for suddha-dhanyasi, perhaps leading way for the new name.

Mysore maharaja I believe has atleast one composition in this raga. So Ilayaraja didn't invent this raga/scale. He probably used this most to telling effect! If I am not mistaken, pADum vAnambADi in nAn pADum pADal also uses this.
"This is the actual scale of udayaravichandrika in olden days.

Mysore maharaja I believe has atleast one composition in this raga."


Thanks for the info!

Suddha-dhanyasi and srotaswini - only one difference (Nishadam), yet so different.

I wonder how they composed/sang srotaswini in carnatic style -- did they give the gandharam the grand kampitam style gamaka like in suddha-dhanyasi? (M R M R)

To me, the raga sounds best without much of a gamaka for gandharam.
You are welcome! But I went back and checked and I have to correct some errors in my last post.

Udayaravichandrika is mentioned in tulAja's works (not Shahaji) but the scale there is srmpns and not sgmpns. I am kicking myself now as to why I did not check if Ri is R1 or R2. This is because if you try S R2 M1 P N3 S, with some gamakas tying ma and and r2, it seems to sound pretty close a raga with S G2 M1 P N3 S scale.

Anyway, the sgmpns we are talking about (with kakali nishadam of course) is actually part of the scheme the Dikhitar follows, and dikshitar himself has a composition in it Sri guruguha mUrtE (see below). Also the confusion with suddha-dhanyasi exists only in the Tyagaraja school (like other cases).

You are right that one swara does make a big difference. I believe each swara effects every other swara.

BTW, you can listen to a Prof SRJ lecdem on the lakshana of udayaravichandrika here: Scroll down to end and download last zip file and enjoy as he does things in a lively and entertaining way :). He also sings the dikshitar song and so you can find yourself firsthand how it is used in carnatic.

This is a beautiful raga and to me has an haunting effect very effectively brought out in all songs Ilayaraja has used it. I agree that the gampita style gamaka of suddha-dhanyasi may not fit as you say. I wonder thought that slight gamakas on the ga on the descent particularly starting with a slide from ma may be apt. Similarly a slow side from ga to sa. I am not 100% sure but this is seen in the lec-dem?

It still is a very rare raga in carnatic. Sad - as it is so enchanting! Only the maestro seems to pay it enough attention off late ;)
Thanks for the link!

The lec-dem was so interesting and entertaining indeed. It was interesting that he thinks udhayaravichandrika/srotaswini "evolved" from suddhamaathi (?) which has descent "S N3 P M R3 S".

It was so nice to hear dikshitar's composition. The gamakas are ,in my opinion, quite optimal.
Srothaswini -- One more raga to my pentatonic table! A google search for this revealed another to me - sallabham.

Interesting comments from arunk.
srikanth, it is a nice raga -- you should try it out.

Ghatam Karthick, has composed a song in this raga...the song is namead after the raaga's name "srothaswini"... he used to play it in his HeartBeat concerts.

No recording of this piece of his is avilable commercialy(to my knowledge)

Also he had a piece called sallabam...

nice blog... what do u do?
quantum dot,

Thanks for the information!!

I am a phd student in CS.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Here is the Srotaswini piece composed by Karthik played by Embar Kannan and Satyanarayanan.
Thanks for the links, Sowmya!

Was just wondering, if you are the carnatic singer Sowmya? If so, I just wanted to let you know that I am the guy who worked for a short time at Carnatica helping with sound editing stuff, in the summer of 2003! Hope you remember me!
In ancient times(like in Sarangadeva's) srotaswini was actually called hindolam. Over time this Hindolam moved left(from keeravani and became the janya raga of natabhairavi and lost its panchamam. Meanwhile the old hindolam moved right and became the janya raga of keeravani but retained the panchamam and it became the current hindolam.
Thanks for the interesting info, Lalitha!
Srothaswini - vasantha raja then sumantha roja and
S G3 m1 p n3
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