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Sri Saraswathi 72 Melakarta chakra, an easy tool to learn music
CHENNAI, April 1: An IIT-Madras Post-Graduate, L.S. Ramesh, has designed an innovative Carnatic music chakra titled `Sri Saraswathi 72 Melakarta chakra'. The chakra, he claims, will help even lay persons to easily learn and play Carnatic, western as well as Hindustani music by themselves.

The 72 Melakarta (Main Ragas) have been depicted in the form of a chakra (wheel), wherein the ragas are shown as ‘dots on the keyboard’. Playing the dots on a keyboard will bring out the melody of the raga.

Various scales (ragas) in Carnatic music are classified into 72 categories. These are again classified as belonging to various Chakras (wheels) such as Indu chakra , Netra Chakra and the like. In all, there a total of 12 chakras. Each chakra represents six major ragas. "All these can be played on your keyboard by yourself,'' says Mr. Ramesh.

Many Carnatic ragas have their counterparts in western music. For example, Keeravani raga, which is numbered 21 and falls under the Veda Chakra, has its equivalent as ‘Harmonic Minor.’ Kalyani raga in Hindustani is called Mecha Kalyani — Melakarta 65 in Carnatic music Bilaval raga in Hindustani is called Dheerashankarabharanam – Melakarta 29 in Carnatic music system. Similarly, other ragas in Hindustani have their equivalents in Carnatic music.

This music chakra is also being used to help children with special needs such as Autism and Downs syndrome.

According to Mr. Ramesh, the money generated from the sale of ‘SriSaraswathi 72 Melakarta’ charts will be used to help the less-privileged children through FACES (Food, Aid, Clothing, Education,Shelter), a voluntary service started by him and his wife Sridevi.

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