Shanmukhapriya is a rāgam in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is the 56th melakarta rāgam (parent scale) in the 72 melakarta rāgam system of Carnatic music. It is called Chāmaram in Muthuswami Dikshitar school of Carnatic music.[1][2] It is said to be borrowed into Hindustani music from Carnatic music.[2] A lot of compositions on Lord Murugan and Lord Shiva are based on this raaga.

Structure and Lakshana

Shanmukhapriya scale with shadjam at C

It is the 2nd rāgam in the 10th chakra Disi. The mnemonic name is Disi-Sri. The mnemonic phrase is sa ri gi mi pa dha ni.[1] 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 swaras chatushruti rishabham, sadharana gandharam, prati madhyamam, shuddha dhaivatam and kaisiki nishadam. As it is a melakarta rāgam, by definition it is a sampoorna rāgam (has all seven notes in ascending and descending scale). It is the prati madhyamam equivalent of Natabhairavi, which is the 20th melakarta scale.

Janya rāgams

Shanmukhapriya has a few minor janya rāgams (derived scales) associated with it. See List of janya rāgams for scales associated with Shanmukhapriya.


A composition later set to Shanmukapriya

Here are a few common compositions sung in concerts, set to Shanmukhapriya.

The compositions of Muthuswami Dikshitar, namely, Siddhi Vinayakam, Mahasuram Ketumaham,sadashraye and Ekamreshanayakim have their school's rāgam name Chāmaram mudra in them.

Related rāgams

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

Shanmukhapriya's notes when shifted using Graha bhedam, yields 3 other major melakarta rāgams, namely, Shoolini, Dhenuka and Chitrambari. Graha bhedam is the step taken in keeping the relative note frequencies same, while shifting the shadjam to the next note in the rāgam. For further details and an illustration refer Graha bhedam on Shanmukhapriya.


  1. 1 2 Ragas in Carnatic music by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications
  2. 1 2 Raganidhi by P. Subba Rao, Pub. 1964, The Music Academy of Madras
  3. "A Raga's Journey – Sacred Shanmukhapriya". The Hindu. 2 September 2011.
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