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Introduction to Raga-Song list version 2.0

Raagam is not what comes to our mind when we talk of a film song. It is 
a common perception that only classical compositions have raagam. In fact,
our songs too, whether film, light or jaanapada, indeed have a raagam
behind it. Sometimes a song is composed using several raagams and is 
hence called a *raagamaalika*. Example: "maanasa veeNa  madhu geetam" 
from the movie "pantulamma".

Unlike classical compositions, film songs usually dont explore the complete 
potential of a raagam, and sometimes get into wrong lanes by introducing 
anya swaram. Film music composers justify it as *creative freedom* but it 
is always a matter of debate. Music directors always keep in mind both 
panDita  and paamara audience and try to make the song more `janaranjakam'.

While it is true that music can be enjoyed without any knowledge about its 
theory, over a period of time even lay persons will be able to sometimes 
intuitively recognise that two particular songs sound *similar*, because 
they are based on the same raagam.

Also appended below is a posting (Classical 'rAgAs' of Carnatic music, 
posted on SCIT) by Sri Prabhakar, as brief introduction, for those

Interest to compile a list of film songs and their raga, began when 
Sreenivas contacted me in '94 refering to a list of songs posted by me 
in one of the earliest Telugu digests (way back in '92) and we; myself, 
Ram, Lucky, Sriram and Sreenivas worked behind this project. The first list 
was posted on the Internet in  January, 1995. To our delight it was well 
received, but brought no new contributors. Only in recent months we could 
win Sreeyutulu Prabhakar, Ratnakar (both adding many new songs & raaga-s), 
Rajagopal (listing plenty of raagamaalikas) and Ramakrishna (making it 
available through his web page apart from his own additions). Without their 
massive contributions this release would n't have been possible.


Like the Version 1.0 this one 'll also be available on Ramakrishna's home page:	


and also from RMIM's wonderful automailer by sending a mail:	

	Sub:  rmim article 50  		(NO message in the body!)


I request netters to post songs and their raagam, if you know. If not sure 
about the raagam, indicate it by question marks and it can be investigated. 
Let us make this into rich compilation of film songs with proper raagam 

Several hours of effort have gone in to this compilation and we shall be 
glad to have your comments, criticism and corrections and naturally 
compliments (if you have any :-)).

Hope you enjoy the songs and wish that you too can recognise and identify
the raga on which the song is based.

Thanks and Regards
 Capt Madhu   (
 Sreenivas Paruchuri  ( 
 Sriram Pidaparti (
 Ramakrishna Sanka (
 Ratnakar Sonthi  (
 Rajagopal Tummarakoti (
 Ramanna Vishnubhotla 
 Lakshmanna Vishnubhotla (
 Prabhakar  Vissavajjhala (

Classical 'rAgAs' of Carnatic music (1 of 2)

Ceratain forms of fine arts such as literature do require some knowledge to enjoy them. However, music is one of such an exception, which can be enjoyed even without the knowledge of it. That is why it is often said that 'SiSurvEtti paSurvEtti, vEtti gAna rasaM phaNihi'(saMgeetamunu; SiSuvulu, paSuvulu, pAmulu kUDA AnaMdinca galavu). However, some curious or inquisitive souls are never satisfied without knowing a few details of how 'music' was organized and 'what are the fundamentals that are forming it'. Though it is an extremely tough task to address all of those aspects, this is a simplified overview confining to some details about how the classical Carnatic 'rAgAs' are formed based on 'svarAs'. 'nAdamE vEdamu, sAma vEdamE saMgeetam' is said to be the general notion for Indian classical music. Sound is the first and major important component of any music. If that 'sound' is organized in a rhythmic manner, it makes music. The first ever 'sound' in Indian scriptures is said to be 'Om kAramu'. From this, all the other sounds are generated and there are 'seven' sounds identified important for music. Today, it is very tough to determine how and why only 'seven' sounds are recognized as the basis of Indian music. These are called the 'sapta svarAs'. 'svaraM' is explained as ['(sva) svakeeyamugA (raM) raMjincu dhvani viSEshamu']. Indeed, many people know 'sa', 'ri', 'ga', 'ma', 'pa', 'dha', and 'ni' as 'sapta svarAs'. However, it should be borne in mind that these are only the 'indicating letters' of 'svarAs' and actually 'svarAs' are 'sound based'. The following is the list of the sounds of these 'svarAs'. ____________________________________________________________ svara resembles the sound of indicating letter ____________________________________________________________ shadjamamu nemali sa rishabhamu eddu ri gAndhAramu mEka ga madhyamamu kraunca pakshi ma (a kind of crane) pancamamu vasanta kAlapu kOyila pa dhaivatamu gurramu dha nishAdamu Enugu ni ___________________________________________________________ Though Indian music is the same all over the country, the Western invasions of North India in the past and the subsequent cross-cultural influence (especially the Persian music), it is often believed that a different trend of music called 'hindustani' came up in India. For the same reason, some people believe that Carnatic music is relatively more 'virgin'. These seven 'svarAs' (now I confine to using the 'indicating letters' and Carnatic music only) have sub-variations in them. While 'sa' and 'pa' do not have any variations and each remains as single, 'ma' has two whereas, 'ri', 'ga', 'dha' and 'ni' have three each and altogether there are 16 variations of 'svarAs'. However, once again based on the 'sound', there are identified four duplicates. So, the ultimate effective number of 'svarAs' to set 'rAgAs' is (16 - 4=) 12. If the 'svarAs' are rendered in the increasing order, sa, ri, ga, ma pa, dha, ni; it is called 'ArOhaNa'(ascending) and in the reverse it is 'avarOhaNa' (descending). A 'rAga' may be described as ['svaramulacE alaMkariMpabaDi, janula cittamunu raMjiMpajEyu layAnvitamaina dhvani viSEshamu']. The formation of 'rAgAs' is more of a mathematical exercise with various permutations and combimations of these 'svara variations'. Every rAga has specific order of svarAs. If there are '7 and 7 svarAs' in both 'ArOhaNa' and 'avarOhaNa', it is called a 'saMpUrNa or mElakarta rAga'. In Carnatic music, there are 72 such rAgAs. These are called 'janaka rAgAs' also. There are many derived out of them, which are called 'janya rAgAs'(derivatives). From each of these 72 rAgAs, the other permutations and combinations are also possible. If 'ArOhaNa' and 'avarOhaNa' follows with the combination svarAs in, (7 and 6); (7 and 5); (6 and 7); (6 and 6); (6 and 5); (5 and 7); (5 and 6); (5 and 5); a total of 484 rAgAs can be derived from each of the 72 original 'rAgAs', making a total of 72 x 484 = 34,848 'rAgAs'. I once again remind that these are all based on the '12 variations of svarAs' only. This is the reason why some of the 'rAgAs' might sound similar for a common man (even for an uncommon man also), but one may have a very subtle difference compared to the other, which the experts only can distinguish. The only best way of identifying a 'rAga' is to know the eaxct 'svarAs', but not by the mere tune of the song. (I guess, at this stage one might resort to the proverb 'ignorance is bliss'. However, I can only say 'no pains; no gains'.) In addition, there are 'vakra' rAgAs. These are the ones where, in 'ArOhaNa' and/or 'avarOhaNa', the 'svarAs' can occur in a 'zig-zag' manner and not necessarily in the exact order they used to be. This aspect makes it tough to render these rAgAs and also the number of 'rAgAs' possible much, much, much more. One very famous example of 'vakra rAga' is 'Sree rAga' (tyAgarAja kRti - endarO mahAnubhAvulu). Quite a number of film songs are tuned based on the classical rAgAs. However, because of many factors, the film musicians can never incorporate the original 'rAga' 100% in a song. Very often they tend to deviate from the original and mix up a lot to get as much variety as possible. In a way, it is not an exaggeration to say that 'light music' is also mostly either 'partially adulterated' or 'highly discounted' classical music only. The general method of tuning a song is based on one 'rAga'. However, as certain 'rAgAs' are very apt for certain 'bhAvAs', different stanzas of some 'keertanAs' or songs are set to difeerent 'rAgAs', which is termed as 'rAga mAlika'. One of the best examples is the usage of ten 'rAgAs' for describing 'daSAvatArAs' of 'jayadEva AshTapadi-jaya jaga deeSa harE!' in the film 'bhakta jayadEva'. The other important aspect of music is 'tALa' (beat). In Carnatic music, there are basically 7 'tALAs' and with each of them having 5 sub-types, makes a total of (7 x 5 =) 35 varieties of 'tALAs'. With regards, Prabhakar Vissavajjhala