Mukhari is one of those ragas that defy classification in the Venkatamakhin 72 melakarta raga scheme. The Arohanam has Chatushrithi Dhaivatham and the Avarohanam has Shuddha Dhaivatham, a trait, it shares with Bhairavi. Do you classify it under Natabhairavi or Kharaharapriya? The skipping of Gandharam in the ascent with the SRM phrases lends it’s own beauty and the jagged (vakra) PNDS fixes Mukhari as opposed to sister ragas Bhairavi et al. Watch this video at about 30 minutes or so, for a truly masterful and serene interpretation of Mukhari by the 80 year old Vedavalli, who uses every ounce of her rich classical experience over all these years. The beauty and dexterity of her handling of Mukhari more than makes up for the lack of robustness in her voice.

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