Madhyamavati (madhyamāvati) is a rāga in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is an audava rāga (or owdava rāga, meaning pentatonic scale). It is a janya rāga (derived scale), as it does not have all the seven musical notes (swaras). The equivalent of Madhyamavati in Hindustani music is Madhumad Sarang.[1]

It is considered a very auspicious rāgam and every Carnatic music concert ends with either a song in Madhyamavati or the ending of the last song is sung in this rāgam.[2] It is very suitable for elaboration and exploration due to even spacing of notes. The scale uses the first three notes of the cycle of fifths S, P and R2 and fourths S, M1 and N2.[2]

Structure and Lakshana

Madhyamavati scale with shadjam at C

Madhyamavati is a symmetric rāga that does not contain gāndhāram or dhaivatam. It is a pentatonic scale (audava-audava rāgam[1][2] in Carnatic music classification - audava meaning 'of 5'). Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure (ascending and descending scale) is as follows (see swaras in Carnatic music for details on below notation and terms):

This scale uses the notes chatushruti rishabham, shuddha madhyamam, panchamam and kaisiki nishadam. Madhyamavati is considered a janya rāga of Kharaharapriya, the 22nd Melakarta rāga, though it can be derived from other melakarta rāgas, Charukesi, Natabhairavi or Harikambhoji, by dropping both gāndhāram and dhaivatam.

Popular compositions

Madhyamavati rāgam lends itself for extensive elaboration and exploration and has many compositions. Here are some popular kritis composed in this scale.

Related rāgas

This section covers the theoretical and scientific aspect of this rāgam.

Graha bhedam

Madhyamavati's notes when shifted using Graha bhedam, yields 4 other major pentatonic rāgas, namely, Mohanam, Hindolam, Shuddha Saveri and Udayaravichandrika (also known as Shuddha Dhanyasi).[2] Graha bhedam is the step taken in keeping the relative note frequencies same, while shifting the shadjam to the next note in the rāga. For more details and illustration of this concept refer Graha bhedam on Mohanam.

Scale similarities


  1. 1 2 Raganidhi by P. Subba Rao, Pub. 1964, The Music Academy of Madras
  2. 1 2 3 4 Ragas in Carnatic music by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications
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