The Carnatic Raga app for Android (download) allows users to search for a raga from its swaras (notes) and swaras for different ragas ( Hat tip – Madhavan Narayanan @madversity). It also provides the Arohanam (ascending scale) and Avarohanam (descending scale) for each raga. It claims to provide a reference to about 968 ragas used in carnatic music which includes Melakarta (fundamental) and Janya (derived) ragas. The app has been developed by Sivakumar Loganathan.
The app is rather simplistic and essentially offers two modes: Search by Swara and Search by Raga.
– Under the first mode, users can key in swaras or notes across the 16 carnatic notes, play them and find the ragas which include them. The problem here is that the app lists all ragas that feature the notes and there is no hierarchy in the list so that the notes which only feature the keyed-in notes are listed first followed by ragas that include other notes.
For example in raga Soma, the Arohanam features: S R1 P M1 D1 N2 S. After keying in the exact notes in the exact pattern, the app listed all the ragas that feature the notes alphabetically but Soma was at the bottom. Perhaps, the app is not sensitive to the pattern in which the notes are keyed-in.
– Under the second mode, the user needs to simply enter the name (or just the alphabet it starts with) and find the Raga and the notes that are featured in the Arohanam and Avarohanam and play them.
Overall, the app is a great utility for carnatic music lovers as it offers a rich database of ragas and the ability to find the raga if one recognises the order of notes in a piece.