The scales of Abheri are as follows :

Aarohanam (Ascending) : S G2 M1 P N2 S’
Avarohanam (Descending) : S’ N2 D2 P M1 G2 R2 S

It is a janya raga, derived from Kharaharapriya (see below) which is 22nd on the Melakarta scale.

22 Kharaharapriya

Abheri has a serene and contemplative mood, sometimes with a submissive touch.

Two other well knows compositions in Abheri are Bhaja Re Manasa by Mysore Vasudevacha and Veenabheriby Muthuswamy Dikshitar.

Nagumomu seems to have been originally composed and sung with D1, making Abheri a janya of the 20th Melakarta, not 22nd. But in early 20th century, Nagumomu started being sung with the D2 and since the raga is still referred to as Abheri, we now see Abheri now as a janya of the 22nd Melakarta. However, there is still some argument and confusion over all this. Should it be called Karnataka Devagandhari like some do? Should we instead switch to singing Abheri with a D1? My head spins with it all!  To read a through analysis, click here. Here is eminent vocalist Sanjay Subramanyan’s take on the matter. As for me, I don’t mind what they call the raga as long as they sing it as beautifully as it should be!

Tamil readers may enjoy the following discussion on the raga by Charulatha Mani.

Note : The 12 notes in the octave are named as below. Please note that C is used as Sa for the sake of simplicity as the scale is relative in Carnatic Music. Also note that the scales paint only a superficial picture of the raga as the gamakas(ornamentations) are a very important part of a raga.


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