A Little Shubhap in Your BeBop?
Melakarta #45 - Shubhapantuvarali
Due to the process known as graha bedham, which changes the śruti, or tonic, of a scale (Melakarta) to a different note within that scale, Melas #36 and #45 have the same tonal makeup, with each containing the exact same interval relationships. Only the starting point is different in each case.
This is the same type of relationship found between, for example, the Major scale and any of its modes (Dorian, Phrygian, etc.) - same 7 scale tones; different tonic.
As with the other posts on the subject, the objective here is to investigate the usage of these Carnatic (South Indian) Melakartas (there are 72 in all), as one would treat any 7 note western scale - as a melodic improvisational tool.
Each scale, however, has it's own distinct "soul", with Shubhab having, decidedly, the darker vibe of the two; similar to Mixolydian vs. Locrian, for example, in a modal sense.
In actuality, its tonal layout - 1-b2-b3-#4 5-b6-7-8, would equate this Mela to a Phrygian #4, ♮7, in western terms. The b3, #4 and the resulting diminished triad from the root - helps to give this scale its dark, brooding and mysterious quality.
Referring to the keyboard graphic on the right, the tritone between scale steps 1 & #4; as well as a full Ab7#9, make for a possible bVI7 - V7 - i harmonic movement.
Although lacking a tritone, the V7 (G7 in C) could theoretically come from the scale tones G (root), Ab (b9), B (3), C (11), Db (b9), & Eb (b13).
The 8 two bar melodic phrases on page 2 of the download are but a few possibilities as to how this Mela might be used melodically in this type of improvisational setting.
It's always fun to practice with a drone. Download these shruti box drone tones, or stream them online.
Shubhap! And ya don't stop!