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Nattai raga, the first of the Ghanapanchakas, is considered an auspicious and majestic raga, and is usually sung in the first part of a Carnatic concert. This Vira rasa pradhana raga (invoking feelings of bravery), is generally used in fast-paced compositions and is derived from (janya) the 36th melakarta scale of Chalanata. Its Arohana consists of all seven notes and Avarohana consists of five notes, with the dhaivatam (D) and gandharam (G) skipped in the Avarohana (sampoorna-audava raga).
Arohana: S R3 G3 M1 P D3 N3 S
Avarohana: S N3 P M1 R3 S
Nattai raga’s highlight swaram is Rishabam, which is usually rendered as dirgha kampita swaram. Nattai is also a vivadi raga, meaning it contains vivadi swarams, or a set of swarams that are placed at close intervals (in this case R, G and M). The Hindustani raga Jog is closely related to Nattai. Nattai has been extensively used by various great composers, and one of the most popular compositions in this raga is Thyagaraja’s first Pancharatna kriti, Jagadanandakaraka.