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Keeravani (pronounced keeravāṇi) is a rāgam in Carnatic music (musical scale of South Indian classical music). It is the 21st Melakarta rāgam in the 72 melakarta rāgam system of Carnatic music. The 21st melakarta rāgam as per Muthuswami Dikshitar school of music is Kiraṇāvaḻi.

This rāgam is a popular scale in western music as well. The Western equivalent is the Harmonic minor scale.[1][2] It is said to be borrowed into Hindustani music from Carnatic music.

Structure and Lakshana

Keeravani scale with shadjam at C
L. Ramakrishnan: instrumental (Veena) improvisation - Alapana and tAnam - in the rAga kIravANI, recorded at Lars Nesbakken's home studio in Portland, Oregon, on Jan 1, 2004.

It is the 3rd rāgam in the 4th chakra Veda. The mnemonic name is Veda-Go. The mnemonic phrase is sa ri gi ma pa dha nu.[1] Its ārohaṇa-avarohaṇa structure (ascending and descending scale) is as follows (see swaras in Carnatic music for details on below notation and terms):

(the notes used in this scale are chathusruthi rishabha, sadharana gandhara, suddha madhyama,panchama suddha dhaivatha, kakali nishadha)

As it is a melakarta rāgam, by definition it is a sampoorna rāgam (has all seven notes in ascending and descending scale). It is the shuddha madhyamam equivalent of Simhendramadhyamam, which is the 57th melakarta.

Janya Rāgams

Keeravani has many janya rāgams (derived scales) associated with it. Kalyāna vasantam is a popular janya of Keeravani. See List of janya rāgams for full list of rāgams associated with Keeravani. Other popular janya ragams include Sāmapriya and Vasantamanohari.


Many composers have composed songs in Keeravani. A few of them are listed here.

Related rāgams

This section covers the theoretical and scientific aspect of this rāgam.

Keeravani's notes when shifted using Graha bhedam, yields 3 other major melakarta rāgams, namely, Hemavati, Vakulabharanam and Kosalam. Graha bhedam is the step taken in keeping the relative note frequencies same, while shifting the shadjam to the next note in the rāgam. For further details and an illustration refer Graha bhedam on Keeravani.


  1. ^ a b Ragas in Carnatic music by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications
  2. ^ Raganidhi by P. Subba Rao, Pub. 1964, The Music Academy of Madras
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