Raksha Rao

Musician / Vocalist

Raksha Rao is a Carnatic vocalist who has been learning and performing Carnatic Classical vocal music for the past 15 years. She has given many concerts to large audiences both in India and in the US under the able guidance of her guru Shri Tirumale Srinivas (Chami sir). Raksha has released 4 albums and has lent her voice to several devotional music albums such as "Chants for Children" , "Ide Sumano Vanim", "Anarghya" and many more. Though trained in Carnatic Classical music, she is a keen proponent and ardent lover of Kannada devaranama (or devotional music), and has sung various rare devaranamas, exquisitely set to beautiful ragas by her guru Shri Tirumale Srinivas. She has performed with renowned artists, including the exemplary UK-based violinist Jyotsna Srikanth in the hit TV series "Just Sangeetha". Check out more for clips from her performances. Under the able guidance of her guru, she is now leading a music school Mahati Nada Kendra, with an aim to train and spread Kannada dasa sahitya in Southern California and beyond.

#30daymarghazhiragachallenge - Madhyamavati

Madhyamavati - A raga that is often identified by the last song sung during a concert! Madhyamavati is the most chosen raga, and signifies auspiciousness. It closely resembles the Hindustan raga - Brindavana Saranga, but pure Carnatic style Madhyamavati itself if quite enthralling and enticing! A janya raga of 22nd Melakarta raga - Kharaharapriya, i has the following notes - Shadja, Chatushruthi Rishabha, Shuddha Madhyama, Panchama, Kaishiki Nishadha. It differs by the nishadha with Brindavana Saranga, which instead has Kakali Nishadha in the aarohana. It is a spirited raga, and can evoke emotions of collective worship when sung in a bhajan style.

S R2 M1 P N2 S

S N2 P M1 R2 S

My favorite aspect of Madhyamavati is the graha-bheda. From rishabha to rishabha, it leads to Hindola, whereas madhyama to madhyama leads to Shuddha Saveri

My first pick for Madhyamavati - the timeless classic from Shri Purandaradasaru - Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma. This kriti is ubiquitous, and I must have heard it being sung by different people, with different sangathis, different combinations of charanas, at least a 100 times! I still cannot pick any favorites, one can just enjoy listening and singing this beautiful krithi!

Here is Shri Muthuswamy Dikshitar's Dharma Samvardhini - rendered by Hyderabad brothers. [Listen from 54:12 onwards]

Palinchu Kamakshi - a beautiful composition by Shri Shyamashastri, here in the eternal voice of MSS

Shri Annamacharya's Adivo Alladivo - what Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma is to kannada, Adivo Alladivo is to Telugu! Rendered here by the defining voice of Smt. Shobha Raju

Here is another beautiful krithi by Shri Purandaradasaru - Nambide Ninna Padava in Madhyamavati, sung by me during a concert in Chennai.