How to Learn the 72 Melakarta

10 mins read

Last Updated on September 16, 2022

Those who are not familiar with the music of Kerala, or the classical Indian art of Kalarippayattu, will be interested to learn how to play the classic melodies of the state. The 72 Melakarta is made up of several sections: Scales, Ragas, Rhythms, Chords, and Mudras. To begin learning the 72 Melakarta, you must first master the art of writing.


A raga, or scale, is a series of seven notes that gradually increase in pitch. There are also seven notes called swaras. Melakarta ragas are divided into seven swaras: the lower Sa (Keezh Shadja), the upper Sa (Mael Shadja), the Pa-seven and the Panchama-seven. The seven swaras are known as swaras and there are 12 in all, making up the Moorchana scale. Ancient musicians evolved an extensive system to develop the maximum number of scales, and 72 was the most logical number to follow.

Melakartas are named after their origin, in southern India. The seven svaras in the saptak are the fundamentals of ragas, heptatonic scales, and thaats. The most famous ragamalika kriti was composed by Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan in the seventeenth century. It is a piece of raga music that stretches across seven notes and is the longest of all ragamalika kritis.

To master melakarta ragas, it is necessary to learn all seven-tone scales. To understand each scale, the melakarta system is divided into twelve semitone groups. Each group has a dominant and tonic note. These scales are based on the Melakarta scheme, which was developed by Venkatamakhi in the 15th century. For this reason, each raga is essentially a sequence of seven-note scales, or chakras.

Melakarta ragas are the foundation of Carnatic music, and are similar to western music scales. They are divided into two basic categories: melakarta and janya. Melakarta ragas follow a specific sequence of sounds, while Janya ragas are rooted in usage and change with the music. Some of the melakartas are not found in western music, but are important for understanding Carnatic music.


The name “72 Melakarta Ragas” refers to a set of 72 scales, also known as swarasthanas. These scales are based on the katapayadi system, which originated in southern India. This system keeps the Sa and Pa fixed and allows for two variants of the Ma (4th) and three variations of Ri, Ga, Dha, and Ni. Each scale has a name and a numeric value.

In the 1738, Amir Khusru created the tabla, a percussion instrument which became a standard in Indian classical music. This instrument was developed to produce more melodic and subtle sounds. This unique instrument eventually led to the development of a new style of music, called Khayal. This particular raga, whose name means “derive,” is one of the 72 Melakarta ragas.

The first Melakarta raga is known as Kanakangi, meaning ‘golden body’. The second Melakarta ragam, Sankarabharanam, is a six-and-a-half minute piece composed of alternating notes and shrutis. This music form is extremely complex, with a variety of notes and nuances. The two most common forms are the ascending and descending melakartas, as well as the fourth one, ‘Kalyani.’

Carnatic Music has many melodious elements, including a stringed instrument called a Venu. This instrument was traditionally used by musicians to listen to ragas. In this way, learning the ragas becomes easier and a better experience. The music is rich in rhythm and a perfect way to improve your musical skills. You’ll soon become familiar with the melodic patterns of this ancient music form.


The ragas of the seventy-two melakartas are composed in a standardized manner and enjoy a great following. The process of naming them was begun by the eighth century AD Indian yogi Govinda. Later, Venkatamakhin formulated a special formula to remember the melakarta names. The melakartas are the parent scales and all other ragas are derivations of these.

The Melakarta ragas are the basic notes of Carnatic and other classical music. These ragas are also called janaka ragas and sometimes sampurna. A melakarta is not necessarily sampurna. In Hindustani classical music, the ragas are arranged in ten-thaats.

The ragas in Carnatic music are composed of twelve semitones – one of each R, G, D, and M. In this way, a melakarta raga has 72 semitones. The names of melakartas can be derived by mathematical process. The melakarta scale is further divided into prati madhyama and nitta raga.

The seven ragas of the melakarta scale are different from other ragas. The lower Sa (Keezh Shadja), the upper Sa (Mael Shadja), and Pa (Panchama) are fixed swaras. The Moorchana scale is a modified form of melakarta. There are seven swaras in the melakarta scale and twelve swaras in the Moorchana scale. They are the parent ragas of janya ragas.


The melakarta scale has many variations, but a common pattern is the raga Harikambhoji, which is considered to be the 28th melakarta raga. The name of this raga is derived from the consonants Ha and ri, which begin the song. The swaras are pronounced in different ways, but they all begin with the same consonants – Ha and ri.

The Melakarta sequence follows a pattern that changes ragas within the same key center. The notes in each raga are written above the fretboard in two directions. This gives you more opportunities to harmonize, since you’ll be able to choose the raga that will best suit the chords. Generally, though, it’s best to learn the Melakarta scale by ear and only practice it on the guitar once you feel you have a strong grasp of the basics.

When learning ragas, you’ll need to learn the different swaras in the melakarta scale. The seven notes in each swara have different meanings. For example, lower Sa is known as Keezh Shadja, and upper Sa is known as Mael Shadja. Similarly, Dha is known as Dhaivata, and Madhyama is known as Ni. Each of these three notes has a slightly different meaning.


There are several ways to learn the 72 Melakarta Swarasthanam, a traditional chant of the Hindu God Vishnu. This chant is also known as the swarasthana, or scale. These are different variations of the seven fundamental notes, or swaras. There are seven basic swaras: Shadja, Sa Rishabh, Ra, Madhyam, Pa, and Dha. The first four are known as the swaras of the swara scale. The swaras of the scale are also known as swaras and raagas.

Several swaras are included in these ragams, as these are considered the “basics” of raga singing. Swaras are the equivalent of Western notes, so learning all of them will make it easier to play the Melakarta swaras. They also form the base of the Carnatic solfege, which is the basis for composing a raga.

The ragas are classified according to their melakarta numbers. The raga Shanmugapriya, for example, contains two consonants, Ma and Sha. The second raga, Disi-Sri, contains swaras Chatusruthi Rishabam, Pa swara Suddha Dhaivatham, and Sa swara Kaisika Nishadam.

The raga Melakarta consists of seven notes with increasing or decreasing pitches. There are twelve swarasthanas, and each of these swaras can have up to 72 notes. The seventh note, Ni, is the perfect fourth. The final note, Dha, is a perfect fourth. The scale of the 72 Melakarta is based on swaras.

When it comes to learning ragas, one has to know the swaras of each. The swaras differ by one swara, as Lataangi and Kaamavardhani do. The good musician avoids chains of swaras, and instead introduces contrasting swaras to make it easier for listeners to identify similarities and differences. They are an important test for a good musician. For instance, an Indian musician performed a composition in the raga Chaarukesi, which has the same purvangam as Shanmugapriya, Thodi, and Shalabhraabharanam.

About The Author

Tess Mack is a social media expert who has fallen down more times than she can count. But that hasn't stopped her from becoming one of the most well-known Twitter advocates in the world. She's also a web nerd and proud travel maven, and is considered to be one of the foremost experts on hipster-friendly social media. Tess loves sharing interesting facts with her followers, and believes that laughter is the best way to connect with people.