Dr. P. P. Narayanaswami
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madhyamAvati is a "ma~ngaLakara rAgam", that is always sung in the concluding segment of any concert. Even though musicians render the Tyagaraja composition, "pavamAna sutudupaTTu" in saurASTram as an appropriate ma"ngaLam, the concert usually ends with a brief AlApana of rAgam madhayamAvti, at least lasting for a few seconds! Again, the Papanasam Sivan k.rti, "karpagamE kaN pArAy" in madhyamAvati, praising Goddess karpagAmbAl of the kapAlIshvara temple in Mylapore is often sung (perhaps followed by a tiruppugazh song) prior to the ma"ngaLam. The fact that muttusvAmi dIkSitar chose rAgam madhyamAvati for his shrIvidyA mantra bIjAkSara k.rti, "shrI rAjarAjEshvarIM" speaks volumes about the auspiciousness of madhyamAvati. In his k.rti, "dharmasaMvardhani", dIkSitar addresses Goddess dharmasaMvardhani of tiruvaiyAru as "mAdhava sOdari, sundari, madhyamAvati sha"nkari".
ArOhaNam: sa ri ma pa ni Sa (S R2 M1 P N2 S)
avarOhaNam: Sa ni pa ma ri sa (S N2 P M1 R2 S)
An audava - audava janya rAgam of meLam 22, kharaharapriya. Notes taken are:- SaDjam, catushruti riSabham, shuddha madhyamam, pa~ncamam, and kaishiki niSAdham; an upA"nga rAgam which omits "ga" and "ni" in both ascent and descent.
Ve"nkaTamakhin classifies madhyamAvati as a bhASA"nga janyam number 8, under the asampUrna mELam 22, shrI.
"madhyamAdissu rAgO'yam madhyamagraha samyutaH |
ga dha lOpAdauDavassyAt sAyamkAlE pragIyatE ||"
ArOhaNam : sa ri ma pa ni sa
avarOhaNam: sa ni pa ma ri sa
bhASA"ngam, auDavam; gAndhAra and dhaivata varjyam; madhyama graham; rakti rAgam; suitable for singing in late evenings; also known as madhyamAvati. SubbarAma dIkSitar's treatise, "sa"ngIta saMpradAya pradarshini" gives a lakSya gItam in tripuTa tALam by ve"nkaTamakhi, , the k.rti "dharmasamvardhani" in rUpaka tALam by muttusvAmi dIkSitar, and a sa~ncAri in rUpakam by subbarAma dIkSitar, himself.
Hindusthani rAgams, madhmAd sAra"ng (also known as madhyamAdi or madhyamAditi sAra"ng) corresponds to KarnaTik madhyamAvati. It belongs to the kAfi thaTh, and has the scale sa ri ma pa ni sa --- sa ni pa ma ri sa. The svarams taken are:--- tIvra ri, shuddha ma, kOmal ni. vAdi is ri, and samvAdi is pa.
There are all sorts of compositions (varNam, k.rti, tillAna etc) in madhyamAvati. This rAgam has ample scope for AlApana, and pallavi expositions are very common. Segments of rAgamAlikas, generally the concluding segment, feature madhyamAvati as a preferred rAgam. The Trinity have their usual share of compositions in madhyamAvati, with tyAgarAja contributing the largest. There are numerous rAgamAlika lines featuring madhyamAvati that have become famous. maharAja svAti tirunAL's sAvEri rAga k.rti, "bhAvayAmi raghurAmam" carved out as a beautiful rAgamAlika by Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, and popularized by M. S. Subbalakshmi, has the last stanza "kalita vara setu bandham" the description of rAma paTTAbhiSEkam, set in madhyamAvati. Again svAti tirunAL's dashAvatAra rAgamAlika "kamalajAsya" features madhyamAvati in the vAmana avatAram line "kalita vAmana rUpa". muttusvAmi dIkSitar concludes his dashAvatAra rAgamAlika, "mAdhavO mAM pAtu", by invoking Lord ve"nkatEshvara of tirupati as the tenth avatAram, in the lines "kaliyuga vara ve"nkatEsham", set in madhyamAvati. We already pointed out that the shrIvidyA bIja mantra k.rti of dIkSitar, " shrI rAjarAjEshvarIm" is in the auspicious rAgam madhyamAvati.
Select Compositions in madhyamAvati
sAdaramiha bhaje, Adi (svAti tirunAL)
saraguNa nannela (tiruvoTTriyUr tyAgarAja)
dharma saMvardhani, rUpakam (muttusvAmi dIkSitar)
mahA tripurasundari, rUpakam (muttusvAmi dIkSitar)
pannaga shayana padmanAbha, Adi (muttusvAmi dIkSitar)
shrI rAjarAjEshvarIm , rUpakam (muttusvAmi dIkSitar)
b.rhannAyakI nannu, tishra maTyam (shyAma shAstri)
kAmAkSi lOkasAkSiNi, tripuTa (shyAma shAstri)
pAli~ncu kAmAkSi, Adi (shyAma shAstri)
aDigi sukhamu leva, mishra cApu (tyAgarAja)
alakalallalADaga, rUpakam (tyAgarAja)
evariccirirA, Adi (tyAgarAja)
dEvI shrI tapastIrthapura, mishra cApu (tyAgarAja)
nagumOmu galavAni, Adi (tyAgarAja) - utsava saMpradAya k.rti
nalinalOcana ninu gAka, mishra cApu (tyAgarAja)
nAdupai balikEru narulu, khaNDa cApu (tyAgarAja)
muccaTa brahmAdulaku, Adi (tyAgarAja)
rAmakathAsudhArasa, Adi (tyAgarAja)
rAma nAma bhajarE , Adi (tyAgarAja)
rAma samayamu brOvarA, Adi (tyAgarAja)
vinAyakuni valenu, Adi (tyAgarAja)
ve"nkaTesha ninnE, Adi (tyAgarAja)
sharaNa sharaNanucu, Adi (tyAgarAja)
shrI rAma jayarAma sh.r"ngArarAma, Adi (tyAgarAja) -- prahLAda bhakti vijayam
bhAvayE padmanAbham, Adi (svAti tirunAL)
dEvakIsuta pAhi mAm, Adi (svAti tirunAL)
shrIraghurAmam, khaNDa cApu (svAti tirunAL)
kOsalendra mAmavAmita, Adi (svAti tirunAL)
shrI padmanAbha kalayitum, mishra cApu (svAti tirunAL)
sAdaramiha bhaje, Adi (svAti tirunAL)
sArasamukha sarasijanAbha, Adi (svAti tirunAL)
smarati nu mAM sadayam, Adi (svAti tirunAL)
vanajAkSam cintayEham, Adi (svAti tirunAL)
vandAn vandAn bharatan (aruNAcala kavi) -- rAmanATakam
gItAmudamey , Adi (kOTIshvara iyer)
pArthasArathi nannu (rAmanAthapuram shrInivAsa iyengAr)
sharavaNabhava guhanE (pApanAsham shivan)
karpagamE kaNpArAy (pApanAsham shivan)
kaNNA kAttaruL, Adi (pApanAsham shivan)
adbuta lIlaikaLai, Adi (pApanAsham shivan)
ADAdu asha.gAdu vA kaNNA, Adi (UttukkADu ve"nkaTa kavi)
AnamaTTum 'sonnEn, Adi (UttukkADu ve"nkaTa kavi)
Ashaiyinai pAraDi, Adi (UttukkADu ve"nkaTa kavi)
e"ngE e"ngEyaDiannamE, Adi (UttukkADu ve"nkaTa kavi)
sha"nkari shrIrAjarAjeshvari, Adi (UttukkADu ve"nkaTa kavi)
sundara nandakumAra, Adi (UttukkADu ve"nkaTa kavi)
sundara nanda vaikuNTha harE, Adi (UttukkADu ve"nkaTa kavi)
nannu brova rAdA, Adi (mysore vAsudEvAcAriar)
rAmAbhirAma, Adi (mysore vAsudEvAcAriar)
sharavaNabhava, Adi (kaviku~njara bhArati)
shrI paramEshvara, Adi (muttiah bhAgavatar)
shrIrAma jaya bhauma, Adi (muttiah bhAgavatar)
shrImad tripurasundari, Adi (muttiah bhagavatar)
ma"ngaLa pradambulicu, rUpakam (ponnayya pillai)
(This is only a meager list covering major composers, and is certainly not exhaustive!)
I have heard a tillAnA in madhyamAvati, composed and rendered by N. Ramani. The ma"ngaLaM composition, "ma"ngaLaM pradaMbulicu" by the Tanjore Quartet has been in vogue as a dance piece. There are plenty of film songs in south Indian languages that are set in madhyamAvati.
Some allied rAgams
The rAgaM shrI is very close to, and often mistaken for madhyamAvati. It is an auDava vakra saMpUrNa rAgam, with the scale:
sa ri ma pa ni Sa; Sa ni pa dha ni pa ma ri Ga ri sa.
According to dIkSitar school of asampUrNa mELa paddhati, rAgA"nga rAgam 22 is shrI.
shrI rAgaH sagrahaH pUrNaH cArhE cAlpadhaivataH |
avarohe ga vakraH syAt sAyam gEyaH shubhAvahaH ||
ArohaNaM: sa ri ma pa ni Sa
avarohaNaM: Sa ni pa dha ni pa ma ri ga ri sa
The notes taken are: SaDjaM. catushruti ri, shuddha ma, pa~ncamam, catushruti dha, sAdhAraNa ga, kAkaLi ni,. In the ArohaNam, dha and ni are absent. Only the ArohaNam permits vakra sa~ncAra. In fact there are two vakra sa~ncArams. The rAgam gets a beauty by the elongation and gamaka on the note ga. While shrI almost resembles madhyamAvati, the omission of the notes dha and ga in madhyamAvati makes a clear distinction. Phrases like "pa dha ni pa ma ri ga ri sa" are repeatedly employed while singing shrI insisting on the usage of dhaivatam and gAndhAram. Hence while rendering madhyamAvati, care should be taken not to touch these notes even slightly. While shrI has greater majesty and depth, madhyamAvati has greater number of compositions.
maNira"ngu is another janyam of kharaharapriya with scale sa ri ma pa ni sa; sa ni pa ma ga ri sa. It has the same arohaNam as madhyamAvati, but takes the note ga in avarohaNam, which is not allowed in madhyamAvati. It omits the note dha, which is present in shrI.
The rAgam puSpalatika with the scale --- sa ri ga ma pa ni sa; sa ni pa ma ga ri sa --- is another rAgam closely related to madhyamAvati or shrI. This rAgaM has been popularized by Tirupati Narayanaswami's unique k.rti, "ika nainanA”.
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