The scales of Raga Ahiri are as follows : Aarohanam (Ascending) : S R1 S G3 M1 P D1 N2 S’ Avarohanam (Descending) : S’ N2 D1 P M1 G3 R1 S Ahiri is a janya raga, derived from Vakulabharanam (see below), 14th on the Melakarta scale. However, this is just one opinion amongst others which make it a janya of Hanumathodi, Suryakantam or Natabhairavi.

14 Vakulabharanam

It is an early morning raga and gives a sense of devotion and pathos. To me, it sounds deeply meditative. I understand that the word ‘Ahir’ refers to a cowherds in northern and western India; it is possible that the name is connected. Ahiri is an old raga, known to have existed in ancient Tamil music. Famous compositions are Mayamma by Shyama Shastri, and Sri Kamalambaa by Muthuswami Dikshithar..

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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