Tip #152 – Understanding the Vakulabharanam 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 Vakulabharanam scale (roughly meaning “all of family”), the second scale from the third chakra.

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

Both the first (SA) and fifth (PA) scale degrees are in a placement normal to most scales found in Western music. However, there is an augmented distance between the second (RI) and third (GA) scale degrees.  While this may sound dissonant or exotic, this scale gives a great amount of opportunity to play with tension and chromatic passing tones.

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

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #146 – Understanding the Gayakapriya 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 Gayakapriya scale (meaning “beautiful singer”), the first scale from the third chakra.

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

Both the first (SA) and fifth (PA) scale degrees are in a placement normal to most scales found in Western music. However, there is an augmented distance between the second (RI) and third (GA) scale degrees.  In addition, the seventh scale degree (NI) is lowered.  While this may sound dissonant or exotic, this scale gives a great amount of opportunity to play with tension and chromatic passing tones.

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

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #141 – Understanding the Rupavati 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 Rupavati scale (meaning “beautiful one”), the sixth scale from the second chakra.

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

Both the first (SA) and fifth (PA) scale degrees are in a placement normal to most scales found in Western music. However, the second scale degree (RI) is lowered, creating a tendency to resolve downward. In addition, the upper scale degrees are clustered into a chromatic grouping.  While this may sound dissonant or exotic, this scale gives a great amount of opportunity to play with tension and chromatic passing tones.

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

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #135 – Understanding the Kokilapriya 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 Kokilapriya scale (meaning “the one dear to the koel bird”), the fifth scale from the second chakra.

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

Both the first (SA) and fifth (PA) scale degrees are in a placement normal to most scales found in Western music. However, the second scale degree (RI) is lowered, creating a tendency to resolve downward. In addition, the sixth (DHA) and seventh scale degree (NI) are raised.  While this may sound dissonant or exotic, this scale gives a great amount of opportunity to play with tension and chromatic passing tones.

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

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #124 – Understanding the Dhenuka 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 Dhenuka scale (meaning “dust”), the third scale from the second chakra.

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

Both the first (SA) and fifth (PA) scale degrees are in a placement normal to most scales found in Western music. However, the second scale degree (RI) is lowered, creating a tendency to resolve downward. In addition, the seventh scale degree (NI) is raised to go back to the tonic as well.  While this may sound dissonant or exotic, this scale gives a great amount of opportunity to play with tension and chromatic passing tones.

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

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

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!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #118 – Building a Hybrid Scale

Just like a hybrid-powered car, your scales can come from being a combination of two or more different scales.

A simple way to construct a hybrid scale is to take one-half of one scale, and combine it with one-half of the other.

So, for example; you can take the first half of the Phrygian scale and mix it with the second half of the Mixolydian scale.

Another way of constructing a hybrid scale is to take a known scale an alter certain notes by raising or lowering them.

Don’t be surprised either if your “hybrid scale” turns out to be an actually scale!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.