KALYANI mELam is the flagship of the prati madhyama segment of the mELakartA scheme (mELams 37 to 72), just like the position enjoyed by sha”nkarAbharaNam among the shuddha madhyama group (mELams 1 to 36). These two form a set of complementary mELams like Shakti and Shiva. If sha”nkarAbharaNam is shiva’s favourite, then, Goddess is very much pleased with kalyANi, which also bears her name! In the mELakartA chart, kalyANI occupies No. 65, and is called mEcakalyANi, to conform to the kaTapAyAdi saMkhyA counting, to yield the number 65 (ma = 5, ca = 6, reversing 56 yields 65). This is the 5th rAgam in the 11th rudra cakram. Hence the mnemonic name is “rudra mA (ri gu mi pa dhi nu)”. The dIkSitar school uses the nomenclature shAnta kalyANi, in their asampUrNa mELa paddhati (which also yields 65 in the kaTapayAdi notation (sha = 5, ta = 6).
ArOhaNam: S Ri Gu Mi Pa dhi Nu S (S R2 G3 M2 P D2 N3 S’)
avarOhaNam: S Nu Dhi Pa Mi Gu Ri S (S’ N3 D2 P M2 G3 R2 S)
The notes taken by kalyANI are: shaDjam, catushruti rSabham (R2), antara gAndhAram (G3), prati madhyamam (M2), catushruti dhaivatam (D2), and kAkali niSAdam (N3). As the prati madhyama counterpart of mELam 29 (sha”nkarAbharaNam), it differs from sha”nkarAbharaANam in just one note, namely the madhyamam.
It is a sarva svara gamaka vArikA rakti rAgam --- all the notes of kalyANi are rendered as tIvra svarams, and with rich gamakams, and all are rAga chAyA svarams. The notes “ga” and “pa” are amsha svarams; also, ri, ga, dha, ni are nyAsa svarams. Gamakams like kampitam, sphuritam, tripuccham, when added to the svara sa~ncArams add an extra dimension of beauty to kalyANi. jhaNTa prayOgams like RR GG MM DD, GG MM DD NN, MM DD NN RR, as well as dATu prayOgams like NGRN, DNRNDN, GND NGR are pleasant and suit well for this rAgam. Also, prayogams that omit the notes “sa” and “pa” (like DNRGM DNRND MGRN) lend elegance to kalyANi. Subtle srutis like tIvra antara gAndhAram (81/64) and tIvra kAkali niSAdam (243/128) show up in some places.
KalyANi is a mUrcana kAraka mELa rAgam, and by the process of modal shift of tonic, we can derive harikAmbhOji, naTabhairavi, sha”nkarAbharaNam, kharaharapriya and tODi by taking as AdhAra SaDjam: ri, ga, pa, dha, and ni, respectively. There is a vinyl LP album of the 1970s where Balamuralikrishna sings a pallavi in rAgam naTabhairavi, “sa ri ga ma pa dha ni pADeDA” where he performs grahabhEdam during the rAgamAlika svaram rendition, and sequentially derives all the above mELams.
A mELa rAgam with immense scope for detailed AlApana, kalyANI is a parent scale for a huge number of janya rAgams. Even though it can be sung at all times, kalyANi is basically an evening rAgam. It is usually sung at the beginning segment of a concert (perhaps as a varNam), since its tIvra svarams create the proper musical atmosphere. For the same reason, it is preferred for a pallavi exposition, or shows up as a rAgam in rAgamalikAs, shlOkams, viruttams, and even in tillAnAs. It is a very auspicious rAgam. Rare is any concert that goes without a rendition of a detailed k.rti, or a pallavi exposition in kalyANi, or at least as a segmental rAgam in a rAgamAlika, or a viruttam.
All sorts of compositions exist in kalyANi, and all composers have composed in kalyANi. Beginning students learn the purandaradAsa gItam, “kamalajA daLa” in tripuTa tALam, and the two famous varNams, both beginning with the phrase “vanajAkSi”, one in Adi tALam (rAmanaD shrInivAsayyangAr), and the other in aTa tALAm (pallavi gOpAla iyer).
The musical trinity has its fair share of compositions in kalyANi. muttusvAmi dIkSitar has composed 11, tyAgarAja 19, and shyAma shAstri 9. Among the dIkSitar k.rtis are candidates from the kamalAmbA navAvaraNam, and the abhayAmbA, madhurAmbA vibhakti series. He incorporates the rAga mudra “kalyANI” explicitly in six of them, and in “shivakAmEshvarIm cintayE” , he goes further and uses the complete mudra “shAntakalyAni”. The k.rti “gaNapatE mahAmatE” in kalyANi is attributed to dIkSitar, but is not found in many standard books.
Among the 19 k.rtis of tyAgarAja, we find k.rtis from the lAlguDi pa~ncaratnam (Isha pAhi mAm), kOvUr pa~ncaratnam (nammi vaccina), and tiruvoTTiyUr pa~ncaratnam (sundari Ni divya), the dharmasamvarddhani group (shivE pAhi mam), divyanAma sa”nkirttanam (rAma rAma rAma), and prahlAda bhakti vijayam opera (kamala bhavuDu). Undoubtedly, the sparkling gem “nidhi cAla sukhamA”, stands out as a masterpiece. It is believed that the tanjAvUr ruler, hearing the fame of tyAgarAja, invited him to his court, and wanted him to sing in his praise. tyAgarAja who was against "nara stuti'', poured out this historic song to his representatives. The song asserts that "rAmuni sannidhi sEva'' is far superior to any material "nidhi''.
A rare Tamil composition (parAmukham En ammA) is included in the nine compositions of shyAma shAstri in kalyANi, besides the Sanskrit k.rti “himAdri sutE pAhi mAm”.
Among the numerous compositions of svAti tirunAL, we have a rAgamAlikA shlOkam “kalyANI khalu yad kathA trijagadAm'' that incorporates the rAga mudra for each line, namely, kalyANi, mOhanam, sAra”nga, and sha”nkarAbharaNam. A rare Tamil k.rti attributed to svati tirunAL is “sAmI unnayE nAn” in Adi tALam. Some musicologists believe that the k.rti “sEvE syAnandUrEsha'' is not a composition of svAti tirunAL but of Irayimman Tampi, who also used the same rAga mudra "padmanAbha''.
UttukkADu ve”nkaTa kavi has quite a number of Tamil songs in kalyANi. The k.rti “mAdhava h.rdu khElini” is third among the saptaratna compositions that has gained popularity very recently, and the k.rt “vA~nchasi yadi kushalam” is the “dhyAna kIrtanam” of his kAmAkSi navAvaraNam series.
Many musicians have chiseled out exquisite compositions in kalyANi in the last hundred years or so. Some of the stalwarts who have adorned kalyANi with their music are:
The rAgam tAnam pallavi line “un darishanam kiDaikkumO naTarAjA dayanidhE'' has been immortalized by musicians like GNB and Madurai Mani Iyer. AriyakkuDi popularized the “catur rAgamAlikA pallavi” in four majestic rAgams, with lyrics "sha”nkarAbharaNanai azhait-tODi vADi kalyANi darbArukku".
shAnta kalyANi (asampUrNa scheme)
According to the asaMpUrNa mEla paddhati, rAgA”nga rAgam 65 is called shAnta kalyANi.
In the 19 “pUrvaprasiddha” mELams, kalyANi is the last one. In the “mElaprakaraNam” chapter of the work “caturdaNDi prakAshika”, the author ve”nkaTamakhi states the following about this kalyANi mELam:
SaDjasvarasca riSabaH pa~ncashruti samanvitaH ||
gAndhArOntarasamj~nasca varAlImadhyamastathA |
shuddashca pa~ncamaH pa~ncashrutikO dhaivatastathA ||
kAkalyAkhya niSAdasca kalyANI mELakE svarAH |
shAntakalyANI ragashca sarvakAlE pragIyatE |
subbarAma dIkSitar asserts that shAntakalyANI is a rAgA”nga rAgam, SaDja graham and suitable for singing at all times. He further adds that the gAndhAram and .rSabha svarams act as both jIva and nyAsa svarams and add much beauty. Further, the dATu prayOgams like GN; GD; RG; DR, DG , NG, NRS, as well as orikai prayOgams like gm/dmgR, NdmgR, d/grndmgR, dRS all add to the ra~njakatvam.
In his book “sa”ngIta sampradAya pradarshini”, he gives a lakSya gItam by ve”nkaTamakhi, four kIrtanams ( bhajarE rE citta, kamalAmbAM bhajarE, shrI ma”ngaLAmbikE by muttusvAmi dIkSitar, and kAntimatI by subbarAma dIkSitar), a tAna varNam (vanajAkSi) by pallavi gOpAla iyer, a svarasthAna padam (tani prAyamu) by sAra”ngapANi, another svarasthAna padam (pArikkani) whose mAtu is by nArAyanasvAmi ayya, and dAtu by subbarAma dIkSitar, and concludes with a sa~ncAri by himself.
kalyAN thAT (Hindustani system)
Hindustani rAgam yaman (kalyAn thAT) is the same as karnATIk mELam kalyANi. It is also known as jaimini kalyAN, Iman, or Eman. It is sung during the first parhara of night. Vadi is Ga and samvadi is Sa. Yaman kalyAN, and candrakAnt are allied HindustAni rAgams. The rAgam yamuna kalyANi (janyam of kalyaNi) is not to be confused with yaman kalyAN. There are numerous Jugalbandhis featuring the fusion of the pair kalyANi - yaman by karnATik - hindustAni musicians. (Balamurali - Bhimsen Joshi; Seshagopalan - Ajoy Chakrabarti; Ramani - Rajam; Ramani - Pandit Jog; Balamurali - Hariprasad Chaurasia, and so on).
kalyANi is supposed to be the earliest prati madhyama rAgam that was known in musical history.
The Tamil paNN equivalent of kalyANi is arumpAlai.
kalyANi is featured in operas, bharata nATyam, and various forms of dance-dramas. The “rAma nATakam” of aruNAcala kavi employs kalyANi for the song “enakkunnirupadam” which narrates the story of rAmAyaNam.
Traces of kalyANi are also found in Hungarian Music.
Film music has taken advantage of the beautiful melody of kalyANi. From the early talkie days with pApanAsham shivan, till as recently as the modern movie Sindhubhairavi, there are numerous film songs in kalyANi.
There are more than 120 janya rAgams for kalyANi, but the most popular ones are:
sAra”nga, mOhana kalyANi, yamunA kalyANi, hamIr kalyANi, sunadavinOdini, sAra”nga tara”ngiNi, am.rta bEhAg, and bhUp kalyANi. Some of the not so popular janya rAgams are: candrakAntam, maitrabhavAni, kuntaLakusumAvali, kaumOdam, shuddharatnabhAnu, kuntala shrIkanthi, andari, shila”ngi, shuddha kOsalam, and pramOdini. D. Pattammal and M. Dandapani mention 122 janya rAgams of kalyANi in their book: rAgapravAham. Walter Kaufmann’s "Ragas of South India” discusses 45 of these rare janyams. mOhana kalyANi is a pleasing rAgam obtained by fusing together mOhanam and kalyANi, and is often heard in concerts these days.
Some unusual Compositions in kalyANi
A classical, but difficult example of a pallavi in kalyANi, set to the unusual simhanandana tALam (128 akSara kAlams) is the one composed by mahA vaidyanAtha Iyer, and the sAhityam reads:
“gaurInAyaka kanakasabhA nAyaka
hAlahalAdhara ga”ngAdhara hara
smarahara purahara shivakAmEshvara
cidambarEshvara naTarAja mamava.''
Later, mahA vaidyanAtha Iyer recast this pallavi into a tillAnA, “thIm tara tiranA tana tillana” in kalyANi, in the same simhanandana tALam.
There are two strikingly beautiful kalyANi compositions that are given in SubbarAma dIkSitar’s sa”ngIta sampradAya pradarshini. Both are examples of “svara sthAna padam”, where most of the sAhityam employs only the seven svaras (of kalyANi). The first, “parikkaNNi” in tishra Ekam, is in Tamil, where the mAtu (words) was set by one Narayanaswami Ayya, a noted Tamil Scholar of Ettayapuram, and the dAtu (music) was set by subbarAma dIkSitar. The other one “taniprAyamu”, is attributed to Sarangapani.
Balamuralikrishna composed (and renders) a tillAnA “tanOm nOm tara tillAnA'' in rAgam kalyANi, in the style called “ThAyam'' singing, where even though the rAgam rendered is kalyANi, it sounds like a different rAgam in each line. The lyric contains the phrases “rAga ThAya mAlika”.
A modern composer, svarNa ve”nkatEsha dIkSitar of cidambaram has a composition in kalyANi: “svarNa kAla bhairavam” in the unusual tALa structure of 13 matras (9+2+2), sa”nkIrNa tripuTa (K. V. Narayanaswami popularized his compositions).
In 1935, when the Tamil daily newspaper, sudEshamitran, celebrated the golden jubilee, ariyakkuDi rAmAnuja iyengar composed the song: “sundaramAna svadEshamitran”, in kalyANi, and sang it (and a disc too was released) on this occasion.
There are more than 700 compositions in all sorts of formats, available in kalyANi. Here is a partial list:
List of Selected Compositions
rE rE trishUlini (tishra tripuTa) – ve”nkaTamakhi
kamalajA daLa (tripuTa) - purandaradAsa
shrIdhara suravara (tripuTa) – muttayya bhAgavatar
sa ni dha pa (rUpakam) - svAti tirunAL
kamalAmba ninnukOri (Adi) – rAmasvAmi dIkSitar
vanajAkSi rO (Adi) – ramanad shrInivasa iyengAr
vanajAkSi (aTa) - pallavi gOpala Iyer
sAmi nIvEyani (Adi) – vaDivelu
nIvE gatiyani neranamminAnu (tishra maThyam) – shyAma shAstri
sudati ninnukOri (aTa) - ponnayyA piLLai
SVARA STHANA PADAM
pArikkanni sa dha mapa (tishra Ekam) - subbarAma dIkSitar/narAyaNasvAmi ayyA
taniprAyamu (Adi) – sAra”ngapANi
sAtura kAmini (Adi) - svAti tirunAL
bhajarE rE citta bAlAmbikAm (mishra cApu) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar
kamalAmbAm bhajarE (Adi) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar
kumbhEshvarENa samrakSitOham (Adi) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar
kumbhEshvarAya namastE (mishra cApu) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar
brahmavidyambikE (Adi) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar
j~nAnaprasUnambikE (rUpakam) – muttusvAmi dIkSitar
shrI ma”ngaLAmbikE (tripuTa) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar
shrI madhurAmbikE (khanDa cApu) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar
shivakAmEshvarIm cintayEham (Adi) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar
abhayAmba jagadamba( Adi) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar
kAmAkshIm kalyANIm (rUpakam) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar
ganapatE mahAmatE (rUpakam) - muttusvAmi dIkSitar (???)
shrI mInAkSi pAhi mAm amba (Adi) - ambi dIkSitar
parikkanni (tishra Ekam) - subbarAma dIkSitar
kAntimati karuNamIra (rUpakam) - subbarama dIkSitar
nidhi cAla sUkhamA (mishra cApu)- tyAgarAja
EtAvunarA (Adi) – tyAgarAja
shivE pAhi mam ambikE (Adi) – tyAgarAja
nammi vaccina (rUpakam) – tyAgarAja
bhajana sEyavE manasA (rUpakam) – tyAgarAja
E varamaDugudurA (rUpakam) – tyAgarAja
sundari ni divyarUpamunu (Adi) – tyAgarAja
amma rAvamma (khaNDa cApu) – tyAgarAja
vAsudEvayani (Adi) – tyAgarAja
bhajarE raghuvIram (Adi) – tyAgarAja
endukO nI manasu (Adi) – tyAgarAja
Isha pAhimAm (rUpakam) – tyAgarAja
kamalabhavuDu veDalE( mishra cAapu) – tyAgarAja
sandEhamu yElarA (rUpakam) – tyAgarAja
rAma nI vADu konavO (Adi) – tyAgarAja
rAma rAma rAma nApai (mishra cApu) – tyAgarAja
ninnana valasina dEmi (mishra cApu) – tyAgarAja
vaccunu hari ninnujUDA (Adi) – tyAgarAja
kAru velpulu nIku (Adi) – tyAgarAja
talli ninnu nEra (mishra cApu) - shyAma shAstri
birAna varAlicci (rUpakam) - shyAma shAstri
himAdri sutE pahi mAM (rUpakam) - shyAma shAstri
dEvI nannu brOvavammA (jhampa) – shyAma shAstri
parAmukhamenammA (tripuTa) – shyAma shAstri
rAvE parvatarAjakumAri (jhampa) – shyAma shAstri
sha”nkari sha”nkari (ata) – shyAma shAstri
shrI kAmAkSi kAvavE (Adi) – shyAma shAstri
paripAhi mAmayi paramapuruSa (mishra cApu)- svAti tirunAL
pa”nkaja lOcana pAhi (mishra cApu) - svAti tirunAL
pAhi mam shrI vAgIshvari (Adi) - svAti tirunAL
yOjaya padamanilane (Triputa) - svAti tirunAL
sArasalOcana mamava (rUpakam) - svAti tirunAL
sArasa suvadana (Adi) - svati tirunAL
sEvE syAnandUrEshvara (Adi) - svAti tirunAL(Irayimman Thampi??)
sAmi unnaye nAn (Adi) - svAti tirunAL
adrisutAvara kalyANashaila (rUpakam) - svAti tirunAL
ArUDam onRu sollaDi (Adi) - UttukkADu ve”nkaTakavi
EkAnta bhakti tarum (tishram) - UttukkADu ve”nkaTakavi
gati nIrE gurudEva (mishra cApu) - UttukkADu ve”nkaTakavi
ittanaiyum poy urakkam (rUpakam) - UttukkADu ve”nkaTakavi
mAdhava h.rdi khElini (Adi) – (third saptaratnam) - UttukkADu ve”nkaTakavi
Sarasijabhava jAyE (Adi) – UttukkADu ve”nkaTakavi
Va~nchasi yadi kushalam (Adi) – (kAmAkSi navAvaraNam) UttukkADu ve”nkaTakavi
Villai vaLaittanE (rUpakam) - UttukkADu ve”nkaTakavi
ninnu vinA gati (Adi) - subbaraya Sastri
nijadAsa varada (Adi) - paTNam subrahmanya iyer
cidambaram en manam (Adi)-pApanAsham shivan
kamala malaridal (mishra cApu)- pApanAsham shivan
kamEshvara k.ripAkara (Adi)- pApanAsham shivan
padam nambinEn (Adi)- pApanAsham shivan
rAma idu dharumamA (Adi) – pApanAsham shivan
shrIdhara ve”nkatEsham (Adi)- pApanAsham shivan
sundarEshvarENa (Adi)- pApanAsham shivan
tEril ERinan (rUpakam)- pApanAsham shivan
sArasAkSi Ni (aTa)- muttayyA bhAgavatar
lambOdara sOdara (Ekam) - muttayyA bhAgavatar
muruganukku oru shIDan (Adi) - muttayyA bhAgavatar
pa”nkajanAbham (Adi) - muttayyA bhAgavatar
pashupathi pAda sEvanamE (Adi) - muttayyA bhAgavatar
sampat pradE (Adi) - muttayyA bhAgavatar
shiva shiva shambhO (Adi) - muttayyA bhAgavatar
ambikE aruL shei (mishra cApu) – nIlakanTha shivan
Aru mugan (rUpakam) – nIlakanTha shivan
nIyE manam (Adi) - rAmasvAmi shivan
sarasvati nanne (rUpakam ) - tiruvoTriyUr tyAgarAjan
pAre”ngum pARttAlum (Adi) - ghanam k.rSNa iyer
jEsina pApamulu (mishra cApu) - pallavi shESa iyer
mahiSasura marddani (rUpakam) - pallavi gOpAla iyer
nIdu caraNa pa”nkajamulE (Adi) - pallavi gOpAla iyer
kailAsapatE (Adi) - Mysore vAsudEvAcAr
kanikaramulO (Adi) - Mysore vAsudEvAcAr
namOstu tE sarasvatI (Adi) - Mysore vAsudEvAcAr
nIvE gatiyani (Adi) - - Mysore vAsudEvAcAr
enrAn idam (khaNDa cApu) – periyasAmi tUran
shrI ve”nkaTEshvara (rUpakam) - periyasAmi tUran
sadAnandamE (Adi) – kOTIshvara iyer
shambhO sha”nkara (Adi) – kOTIshvara iyer
ninnu bhAi nimiSamu (tripuTa) - ponnayya piLLAi
nI sari sATi (Adi) - ponnayya piLLai
sAmiyai azaittu vADi (Adi) - ponnayya piLLai
birAna brOvayidE (Adi) - tara”ngambADi pa~ncanada iyer
praNatArttihara (Adi) - garbhapuri cinna dEvuDu
kacci ra”ngan krpai - ghanam k.rSNa iyer
AravamudaraippOlE (Adi) - ghanam k.rSNa iyer
endu mama sadanattil (Adi) svAti tirunAL
kindu ceyvu j~naninnahO (rUpakam) - svAti tirunAL
teliya vaccenurA (mishra cApu)- kSEtraj~na
rAra ayyalu (Adi) – kSEtraj~na
nI pOmudu seyaka (mishra cApu)- kSEetraj~na
entu mama (Adi) – kSEtraj~na
niluvina niliveDu (mishra capu) – kSEtraj~na
tani prAyamu ( laya tara”ngiNi) – kSEtraj~na
nAdiru diru (tripuTa) - svAti tirunAL
tIm tara tiranA (simhanandana tALam) - mahA vaidyanAtha iyer
tim tara tani (Adi) - mysore vAsudEvachAr
entAti kuluke (rUpakam) - paTTAbhirAmayya
RAGAMALIKAS featuring KALYANI
valaci vAcci (navaragamalikA varNam) (kottavAsal ve”nkaTarAma iyer)
nitya kalyANi (sItarAmayya)
jaya jaya gOkula bAla (nArAyaNa tIrtha)
amba ninnu nera nammiti (garbhapuri)
I kanakAmbari (subbarAma dIkSitar)
Karpagavalli nin (?)
All the 72 mELa rAgamAlika compositions must obviously feature kalyANi on the 65th line in the caranam. MahA vaidyanAtha iyer's mammoth mELa rAgamAlika has the line
"mEca kalyANIm vAcam dishasE, mOcakadAyini ramasE"
The 72 rAgA”nga rAgamAlika by subbarAma dIkSitar (mAtu by one k.rSNa kavi) has the text
"mati kalyANiyosagu rAgA”nga rAgamAlikAm goniprEmamIraga''.
RAGAMALIKA SLOKA LINES
The rAagamAlika shlOkam “kalyaNI khalu yad kathA trijagadam'' composed by MaharAja svAti tirunAL features the rAga mudra for each line, namely, kalyANi, mOhanam, sAra”nga and sha”nkarAbharaNam.
FAMOUS PALLAVI LINES