Tip #119 – Understanding the Hanumatodi Scale

The Carnatic music of South India has 72 scales (melakartas) comprised of seven different notes in either an ascending (arohana) or descending (avarohana) fashion. These scales are used in a kind of India music called rāga and are extremely beautiful. In addition these scales are grouped into different chakras, based on certain similarities.

Today’s melakarta is the Hanumatodi scale (meaning “break”), the second scale from the second chakra.

Below is a representation of the scale as if it was put into Western notation:

Notice that this is also the Phrygian mode.

Try playing around with the scale, possible harmonies, and progressions!

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