Our scriptures say that AMBAL resides in the Sapthaswaras S R G M P D N. The 72 Mela ragas have been formed based on the differences in the Vikruthiswaras in these Sapthaswaras. Sri Venkatamaki was the first one to systematize this. Since these Mela ragas give opportunity for the birth of a number of other ragas they are called Melakartha Ragas

Just like knowledge of Physics and other sciences has grown over a period, there have been significant developments in the field of Carnatic music too. Around 50 years back only 15 Mela ragas were in use whereas now more than 30-35 Melaragas are being regularly sung. Vidwans nowadays take up a rarely sung raga, explain its nuances and mention its name and then sing. This is a very positive development and the audience welcomes this. Currently a number of music colleges are coming up from which a number of musicians and musicologists are graduating year after year. Very soon it will be possible for all the musicians to sing all the 72 Melakartha ragas very easily.

The current Vidwans were introduced to a few ragas by their teachers who did a great service by also teaching them how to sing these effortlessly. The current Vidwams should in turn identify a few new ragas and introduce them to their disciples. By singing these new ragas regularly, they need to bring these ragas into use. This will be the greatest service they will be rendering to the field of Carnatic music. As Kalki said if musicians stick on to the old songs and ragas and do not touch anything new, the art will not grow with the times. Art will dry up just like a pond that is not charged with fresh water.

It is possible to sing any Melaraga with some additional effort. If a mistake is committed while singing an unfamiliar raga, it can be immediately noted and corrected.

Abhaswara occurs to everyone at some point. We hear in our native stories that the ghost ran away from a village since it could not bear the frequent Abhaswara of musicians in the village. All ragas are similar to the familiar ragas Thodi and Sankarabharanam . 72 Melakartha ragas are like constructing different seven-room houses on pieces of land of the same size. Some of the rooms may be located differently. Likewise in the 72 Melakartha ragas the swaras R,G,M,D,N alone change places.

Sri Muthuswamy Dikshidhar was the first to compose Sanskrit songs in the Melakartha ragas . Sri Mahavaidyanatha Iyer composed in Sanskrit and set to tune a Ragamalika in these 72 mela ragas. Thiuvotriyur Thyagayyar composed songs in the 72 Melakartha ragas. Saint Thyagaraja Swamigal has composed beautiful songs in Melaragas that are also called Vivadhiragas. Sri Koteeswara Iyer has composed Tamil songs in all the 72 Mela ragas and published them under the name GANDHA GANA AMUDHAM in the year 1939. Sri M Balamuralkrishna has composed Telugu and Sanskrit songs in Melaragas in the year 1950. The Veena maestro Sri S Balachander has played and recorded in a gramophone disc all the 72 Melakartha ragas clearly bringing out the flavour of each raga.

Mela raga krithimala contains a lot of songs on various deities, written in simple Tamil. Due to the grace of God, even songs tuned to unfamiliar ragas have the ability to be sung with facility by almost anyone. These songs have not been composed in a particular series. By the blessings of the Almighty these compositions have occurred to me along with the ragas at random. I used to sing these songs as they occurred to Sri G N Dhandapani, a retired Veena artiste of All India Radio. He used to patiently listen to the songs and offer his suggestions for fine tuning them, spending a lot of his valuable time. Sri T R Subramaniam, Professor of Carnatic music, Delhi University encouraged me by listening to these songs and offering ideas to further improvisation.

I pay my homage to my teachers Late Smt Sethubai and Veena Vidwan Sri Varadayya . I offer my respects and devotion to my teachers Sangeethabushanam P V Ganesa Iyer, Kalakkad Sri S Ramanarayana Iver and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Smt D K Pattammal.

I am able to publish this with the grace of God, the blessings of all my teachers and the support given by my husband Sri M N Dhandapani with his untiring perseverance.

I offer my respects and thank Sri G N Dhandapani for writing the swaras for these songs in an excellent way.

I offer my respects and thank Veena maestro Sri S Balachander, Prof S Ramanathan and Sri T S Parthasarathy for writing the felicitation notes for this publication.

I do hope all the Vidwans will encourage me by looking at the positive side of this work and not take a serious view of any mistakes that I might have committed.

I thank the Sangeetha Nataka Academy who came forward to support publication of this work.

My mother spotted the interest I had in music even at a very young age. She was my first Guru and later on she helped me learn music through various Gurus. I pay homage and wholeheartedly dedicate Melaragakrithi Mala to the feet of my mother Lalgudi Vaalaambal Ramarathnam.