Indian classical music is both elaborate and expressive. It is classified into Carnatic music and Hindustani music. It divides the octave into 12 semitones of which the 7 basic notes are, in ascending tonal order, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa , and descending order Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Re Sa.
Swara means a note in the octave.The seven basic swaras of the scale are named Shadjam - S , Rishabh - R , Gandhar - G , Madhyam - M , Panchamam - P , Dhaivatham - D , Nishadam - N. Dwadasa Swaras & Shodasa Swaras : The basic swaras of carnatic music have a total of 16 varieties ( only 12 places) The swaras in carnatic music are slightly different in the twelve-note system.There are three types each of r , g , d , n and two types of Ma, while Pa and Sa are invariant.
Raga A raga uses a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is constructed. The way the notes are approached and rendered in musical phrases and the mood they convey are more important indefining a raga.
In Carnatic music, rāgas are classified as Janaka rāgas and Janya rāgas. Janaka rāgas are the rāgas from which the Janya rāgas are created. Janaka rāgas are grouped together using a scheme called Katapayadi sutra and are organised as Melakarta rāgas.
Katapayadi sutra is the numerical notation in ancient Indian system to depict letters to numerals for easy remembrance of numbers as meaningful words.
Chakrās :The 72 Mēḷakarta ragas are split into 12 groups called Chakrās , each containing 6 ragas. The ragas within the chakra differ only in D and N, as illustrated below. The name of each of the 12 chakras suggests their ordinal number as well.
Industands for the moon, of which we have only one – hence it is thefirst chakra. Nētrameans eyes, of which we have two – hence it is thesecond. Agniis the third chakra as it denotes the three divyagnis (fire, lightning and Sun). Vēdadenoting four Vedas is the name of the fourth chakra. Bāṇacomes fifth as it stands for the five bāṇaa of Manmatha. Rutu is the sixth chakra standing for the 6 seasons of Hindu calendar. Rishi,meaning sage, is the seventh chakra representing the seven sages. Vasustands for the eight vasus of Hinduism. Brahmacomes next of which there are 9. The 10 directions are represented by the tenth chakra, Disi. Eleventh chakra is Rudra of which there are eleven. Twelfth comes Aditya of which there are twelve. Melakarta rāga A Melakarta rāga is one which has all seven notes in both the ārōhanam (ascending scale) and avarōhanam (descending scale) , swaras in the ārōhanam are in ascending scales S R G M P D N and swaras in the avarōhanam are in descending scale S N D P MG R and the same swaras in the ārōhanam and avarōhanam ----That is the sequence is strictly ascending and descending in the scales, without any jumps or zig-zag notes.The upper shadjam is included in the raga scale.The ascending and descending scales must have the same notes. Some Melakarta rāgas are Harikambhoji, Kalyani, Kharaharapriya, Mayamalavagowla, Sankarabharanam and Todi. Mēḷakarta is a collection of fundamental ragas (musical scales) in Carnatic music (South Indian classical music). Mēḷakarta ragas are parent ragas (hence known as janaka ragas) from which other ragas may be generated. A melakarta raga is sometimes referred as mela, karta or sampurna as well.