Scale Builder is a tool to build microtonally accurate scales for Ragas in Indian Classical music. For an introduction to Scale Builder and a quick user guide, click
Show. You can use the common parameters below to set the
Sa to any pitch you prefer.
Indian Ragas and their underlying scales are based on the principles of consonance and symmetry. This means that the interval between any two notes in a Raga can be described:
By describing musical intervals in this manner, you can use Scale Builder to build microtonally accurate scales for Indian Ragas. Scale Builder uses Linear Algebra to solve for a scale that meets all the constraints imposed by the musical intervals you specify.
Scale Builder requires each relevant musical interval to be specified as a constraint in a separate line, based on the following syntax.
Sa re Re ga Ga ma Ma Pa dha Dha ni Niwhere notes beginning with a lower case letter are komal or flat notes, and notes beginning with an upper case letter are tivra or sharp notes.
"symbol denotes Tara Saptak, a
'symbol denotes Mandra Saptak and no octave specification means Madhya Saptak.
(Sa,Pa)stands for the interval from Sa to Pa.
(Sa,Pa)is the same as
(Pa,Sa), but different from
I(G)are respectively the Pancham, Madhyam and Gandhar intervals.
(Sa,Pa) = I(P)means that
Pahave a Pancham relationship (which need not always be the case).
(Pa,Dha) = (ma,Pa)means that the
ma-Painterval are the same.
(Re)is a shortcut for
S(note)means that the
noteshould use the standard value from the Venkatamakhin-Ramamatya tuning system. For example,
(ga) = S(ga)means that
gashould use the standard value.
D(note)means that the
noteshould be deleted from the scale (although it may be used to derive another note in the scale). For example,
Pais not be used in the scale.
T(note)means that the generated scale should be transposed with the
notetaken as the tonic note. For example,
T(ma)means that the generated scale should be transposed to
You can use the following examples to try out Scale Builder and also to familiarize yourself with the constraint syntax.
The Sama Gana scale starts with the idea that
Pa have a perfect Madhyam and Pancham relationship with
Sa. Then using the
ni are derived by going up and down from
Sa by an amount equal to
ga is derived by going down from
Dha by going up from
Pa, by the same amount
(ma,Pa). This leads to the following constraints.
(Sa,Pa) = I(P) (Sa,ma) = I(m) (Sa,Re) = (ma,Pa) (ga,ma) = (ma,Pa) (Pa,Dha) = (ma,Pa) (ni,Sa") = (ma,Pa)
The Shadaj Gram scale starts with the Sama Gana scale, but shifts
Dha down in pitch.
Dha is shifted down in pitch so that
(ma,Dha) is a perfect Gandhar. Since,
Dha are maintained to have a perfect Pancham relationship, we need to specify that
(Re,Dha) = I(P). This leads to the following constraints.
(Sa,Pa) = I(P) (Sa,ma) = I(m) (ga,ma) = (ma,Pa) (ni,Sa") = (ma,Pa) (ma,Dha) = I(G) (Re,Dha) = I(P)
You can build the scale by clicking on
Build after specifying all the musical intervals of significance in the Raga. In case, Scale Builder is unable to build the scale, it would provide you with a list of notes which cannot be determined. You can add or change constraints till you get a solution.
On successfully building a scale, Scale Builder would provide a keyboard to listen to the scale so that you check if it matches with your expectations. You can also read further information generated by Scale Builder including its tuning with respect to the Venkatamakhin-Ramamatya scale and the symmetric intervals in the scale. These symmetric intervals should be inline with your expectations about the Lakshanas of the Raga.
Constraints for the Scale