Sloka: ‘||स्वतो राजयति स्रोतु स्रितम् स्वर उच्यते||’
“That which is able to please of its own accord is Swara.”
The basis of all systems of music is the seven notes or swaras. Just as there are 7 days of the week, 7 colors of the rainbow there are 7 swaras or sapta swaras. They are:
- Shadjam – Sa
- Rishabham – Ri
- Gandharam – Ga
- Madhyamam – Ma
- Panchamam – Pa
- Daivatam – Da
- Nishadham – Ni
The notes Sa, Pa which do not admit of varieties are called Achala swaras or fixed notes. They are also referred to as Avikrita swaras.
Suddha swaras also referred to as Prakriti swaras, have the prefix Suddha.
The Vikrita swaras have the prefixes like Chatussruthi, Shatsruthi, Sadharana, Antara etc.
The term suddha swara in South Indian Music refers to the lowest pitched or the earliest variety of each note of the ascending scale. In North Indian Music, the term Suddha refers to each of the notes of the Sankarabharanam scale (Bilaval of Hindusthani Music).
Suddha scale means a scale of all suddha swaras. In South Indian Music, it is ‘Kanakangi’, the first Melakartha in the scheme of 72 melas.
The five swaras other than ‘Sa’ and ‘Pa’, that allow two basic variations in sruthi are given below:
Rishabham: Suddha Ri, Chatussruthi Ri
Gandharam: Sadharana Ga, Antara Ga
Madhyamam: Suddha Ma, Prati Ma
Daivatam: Suddha Da, Chatussruthi Da
Nishadam: Kaisiki Ni, Kakali Ni
This way we get 12 basic swarasthanas, known as ‘Dwadasa Swarasthanas’ (2 Achala + 5*2 Chala = 12).
Suddha Vikrita Sthanas or Shodasa Swarasthanas:
Infact, Rishabham, Gandharam, Daivatam and Nishadam allow three variations each rather than two. But the sruthi of one of these variations coincides with the sruthi of some variations of the adjacent swarams.
|New Variation||=||Existing Sruthi in Dwadasa Swarasthanas|
|Shatsruthi Ri||=||Sadharana Ga|
|Suddha Ga||=||Chatusruthi Ri|
|Shatsruthi Da||=||Kaisiki Ni|
|Suddha Ni||=||Chatusruthi Da|
This way we get four additional swarasthanas, however aligning with existing 12, hence 16 Swarasthanas.
Shodasa (16) Suddha Vikrita Swarantargatha Sthanas with their names and symbols are given below:
|2||Suddha Rishabham||–||Ri1 or Ra|
|3||Chatusruthi Rishabham||–||Ri2 or Ri|
|4||Shatsruthi Rishabham||–||Ri3 or Ru|
|5||Suddha Gandharam||–||Ga1 or Ga|
|6||Sadharana Gandharam||–||Ga2 or Gi|
|7||Antara Gandharam||–||Ga3 or Gu|
|8||Suddha Madhyamam||–||Ma1 or Ma|
|9||Prati Madhyamam||–||Ma2 or Mi|
|11||Suddha Daivatam||–||Da1 or Da|
|12||Chatusruthi Daivatam||–||Da2 or Di|
|13||Shatsruthi Daivatam||–||Da3 or Du|
|14||Suddha Nishadam||–||Ni1 or Na|
|15||Kaisiki Nishadam||–||Ni2 or Ni|
|16||Kakali Nishadam||–||Ni3 or Nu|