Suddha Vikrita Sthanas


Sloka: ‘||स्वतो राजयति स्रोतु स्रितम् स्वर उच्यते||’

“That which is able to please of its own accord is Swara.”

Sapta Swaras:

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:

  1. Shadjam – Sa
  2. Rishabham – Ri
  3. Gandharam – Ga
  4. Madhyamam – Ma
  5. Panchamam – Pa
  6. Daivatam – Da
  7. 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.

Dwadasa Swarasthanas:

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:

 Swarasthana NameSymbol
2Suddha RishabhamRi1 or Ra
3Chatusruthi RishabhamRi2 or Ri
4Shatsruthi RishabhamRi3 or Ru
5Suddha GandharamGa1 or Ga
6Sadharana GandharamGa2 or Gi
7Antara GandharamGa3 or Gu
8Suddha MadhyamamMa1 or Ma
9Prati MadhyamamMa2 or Mi
11Suddha DaivatamDa1 or Da
12Chatusruthi DaivatamDa2 or Di
13Shatsruthi DaivatamDa3 or Du
14Suddha NishadamNi1 or Na
15Kaisiki NishadamNi2 or Ni
16Kakali NishadamNi3 or Nu