Carnatic Pitch Perfection: Free Synth Software (PC) and Mathematical Derivations of Carnatic Pitch

  • By Mithilesh Dronavalli

Carnatic Pitch (CarnaticPith.xlsx see below) is based on the cycling of fourths (Ma-Derivation powers of 4/3) and fifths (Pa-Derivation powers of 3/2).

There are 12 notes of both Ma and Pa derivations. That makes 24 notes.

Sa is the base note which is equivalent to 1. Pa is fixed at 3/2 and is the 2nd made note.

Since there is only one variation of Sa and Pa there are 24 – 2 = 22 notes in total.

The Ma-Derivation notes have a dip in modulation.

The Pa-Derivation notes have a vibrato modulation.

Sa (1) and Pa (3/2) are the fixed base notes and have no modulation.

Good Luck!!!

Happy Musicing!!!

Sastram Synth Standalone (unzip and run executable) This is a MAX MSP Synth that runs as a standalone synthesizer with the above Carnatic Music Pitch derivation. It is capable of expressing gamaham and uses MPE technology which requires a Roli Seaboard or other MPE compatible keyboard. It is also compatible with a normal midi keyboard, without gamaham. For Windows For Now!

Sastram Synth Keystroke (unzip and run executable) As above but is a funky non-gamaham synthesizer tuned to Carnatic Music Pitch. This synth works with an ordinary typing keyboard (laptop keyboards are also fine) – old school. No midi keyboard required.


Tuning values and formulas available from the excel file below.