Raga Mayamalavagowla – A Hybrid Harmonic Approach (Notation)

This is the first post addressing the application of western harmony to a Carnatic raga. This lesson outlines a typical approach that I take in developing pentatonics and harmonies for a particular raga. The below example uses Raga Mayamalavagowla, or Raag Bhairav in Hindustani music, as the parent raga. Continue reading

Raga Mohanam – The Major Pentatonic Raga (Notation)

This lessons explores Raga Mohanam. Raga Mohanam is another pentatonic raga, sharing the same pitches as the major pentatonic scale. Pentatonics are used the world over in composition and improvisation so there is a wealth of melodic material from a Carnatic perspective that musicians can borrow and explore through this lesson. I’ve transcribed lines sung to me by distinguished Carnatic vocalist Sreyas Narayanun during one of our lessons. The lines can be played freely. Replay ones that really stand out. Also explore taking these melodic gestures and applying them to other pentatonic scales. There are some exercises at the end of the lesson which take inspiration from Sreyas’ lines and a downloadable pdf of the lesson at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Raga Amirthavarshini – A Carnatic Melodic Approach (Notation)

This is the first entry concerning melodic material on the blog. I am studying Carnatic vocals and melodic content at SAM under the direction of Sreyas Narayunun, a distinguished, grade “A” All India Radio Carnatic vocalist. I’ve notated lines he has sung in Raga Amirthavarshini from one of my lessons with him. Raga Amirthavarshini is a pentatonic raga with scale degrees 1 – 3 – #4 – 5 – 7. The gestures provide insights into how a raga is developed in a melodic sense, carefully outlining all the pitches in the raga and providing melodic movements that are characteristic of the raga. Play through the phrases and explore the melodic applications at the end of the lesson. A download link for a PDF of this lesson is at the bottom of the page.

Continue reading