Friday, December 3, 2010

About! Raag Hamsadhwani

Raag Hamsadhvani (Sanskrit: हम्सध्वनि, Telugu: హంసధ్వని, Tamil: ஹம்ஸத்வனி), also known as Hansadhwani, is a rāga in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is an audava rāgam (or owdava rāga, meaning pentatonic scale). It is a janya rāga (derived scale), as it does not have all the seven swaras (musical notes).
It was created by the Carnatic composer Ramaswami Dikshitar (1735-1817) (

Mandolin sisters Sreeusha and Siresssha - Vanayaka Hamsadwani - Adi Part 1

Sanjay Subrahmaniam - Raag Hamsadwani
"agara mudhala ezhuththellam Adhi bagavan mudhatre Ulagu"

Hamsadhvani is also extensively used in Hindustani music and said to be borrowed into it from Carnatic music and brought into Hindustani music by Ustad Aman Ali Khan of the Bhendibazaar gharana.

Ustad Amir Khan - tarana - Raag Hamsadhwani

Parveen Sultana - Raag Hamsadhvani - Tarana

A unique composition on Raag Hansadhwani by Debapriya Samanwaya on Vocal Sitar Duet.

Hamsadhvani rāgam lends itself for elaboration and exploration and has many compositions in both classical music and film music. It is usually sung at the beginning of a performance. There are many kritis (compositions) in praise of Lord Ganesha set in this musical scale.
• Raghunayaka and Sree Raghukula by Thyagaraja
• Vatapi ganapathim by Muthuswami Dikshitar
• Varanamukha vaa by Koteeswara Iyer
• Mooladhara moorthi and Karunai seivai by Papanasam Sivan
• Gajavadana beduvae by Purandaradasa
• Vinayaka by Veena Kuppayyar
• Varavallabha ramana by G. N. Balasubramaniam
• Gam ganapathe by Muthiah Bhagavatar

Raga Hamsadhwani in Tamil Films: By Thumburu

There are ragas beyond this family that can be called neighbours of Mohanam (in the sense of one swara difference) yet very popular in TFM. One such raga is Hamsadhwani. By replacing the "D2" chathusruthi Dhaivatham of Mohanam with N3 kaisiki Nishadham , we get this raga.

S R2 G3 P N3 Sa
Sa N3 P G3 R2 S

Hamsadhwani is no lesser in appeal or popularity than Mohanam. It is the most upbeat scale one can think of. Most of the songs invoking "PiLLaiyaar" are based on Hamsadhwani like "Vaathaapi Ganapathim baje", "Vinaayakaa ninnuvinaa" etc. and needless to say they are the first ones to begin any concert with. 

Malargale Nadhaswarangal - Kizhakke Pogum Rayil - Raga Hamsadhwani

Agathiyar (Tamil Film) - அகத்தியர் (திரைப்படம்) - Based on the life of siddha Agastya. 
Song based on Raag Hamsadhwani start at 1:55mn.

The TFM MDs have used this raga to the hilt . MSV has composed in Hamsadhwani for "mazhai kaalamum pani kaalamum sugamaanadhu" with lot of intricate gamakas from film Savithri. 

IR as usual has a long list of Hamsadhwani to his credit. He is the only composer to have delved deep and shown various facets of this beautiful raga.

1. "Mayile mayile un thogai enge" from KadavuL amaitha medai has a folkish blend and wcm based interludes. 
2. "Ther kondu sendravan yaarendru solladi thozhi" is a dance song from
EnakkuL oruvan 
3. "sri ranga ranganathanin Paadham" from mahanadhi is a devotional number 
3. "Kaalam maaralaam" , a joyful duet from Vaazhkai
4. "poo mudithu pottu vaitha vatta nilaa" from Enpurushan thaan enakku mattum thaan
4. "Sevvaaname Ponmegame" , another lilting number from Nallathoru kudumbam 
5. "Malargale Naadhaswarangal" from Kizhakke Pogum Rayil
These are testimony to his prowess in handling this happy sounding raga.
Rahman also has dabbled with this scale
In "Thirakaadha kaatukkuLLe" song from "En swaasa kaatre" , he gives us a fleeting glimpse of Hamsadhwani
"thee kuruviyai" from KangaLaal Kaidu sei is innovative with a lot of fusion, tribal sounds . 
In recent times we have
"Suppose unnai kaadhalikka" from the film Sukran , tuned by a new MD, Vijay Antony and
"Enna paatu venum unakku" from "Oru NaaL oru kanavu" 
set to Hamsadhwani scale.

Both the songs being peppy, and poppish only reiterate the youthful exuberance that Hamsadhwani can infuse in the TFM world.


  1. i want notations for raga hamsdwani pls. can you mail me on

    i sing as well as learning violin and i want to play the raga in a programme on violin. so i want a dhun!