Kāpi (Sanskrit कापी, Tamil காபி) is a popular rāga in Carnatic music, the classical music of South India.

Kāpi is a janya rāgam with a meandering vakra scale. It is considered to be derived from the Kharaharapriya rāgam. Typically performed at slow and medium speeds, Kapi is capable of inducing moods of devotion, pathos and sadness in the listeners. Kāpi is different from the Hindustani raag and thaat Kafi.

Structure and Lakshana: Kāpi is an audava-vakra rāgam with an ascending pentatonic scale and a descending scale with seven notes, but not in a descending order. It uses two different nishāda swarās.

ārohaṇa : S R2 M1 P N3 S
avarohaṇa : S N2 D2 N2 P M1 G2 R2 S

The presence of two separate nishāda swarās (N2 and N3) lends a distinctive quality to Kāpi, along with the fact that it uses a set of vakra swarās (N2 D2 N2).

(Source: wikipedia)


Listen to compositions in Kāpi rendered by Dhanya Subramanian on this site:

Mee Valla Gunadosham – Tyagaraja
kArthikeyanai – Mayuram Viswanatha Sastri
Pazhani Ninra – Periyasaamy Thooran
kalaiyaatha kalviyum – Abhirami Andhaadhi Padhigam


Other Popular Compositions in Kāpi:
Jagadhoddhārana Adisidalu Yashoda – Purandaradasa
Kurai Ondrum Illai (in two charanam verses) – Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
Enna thavam seydanai Yashoda – Papanasam Sivan


Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 3976
Varamanjalaadiya (Malayalam)

Film: Pranayavarnangal
Language: Malayalam
Singer: K.S.Chitra
Music Director: Vidyasagar
Year: 1998

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 4004
Aalankuyil Koovum Rayil (Tamil)

Film: Parthiban Kanavu
Language: Tamil
Singer(s): Harini, Srikanth
Music Director: Vidyasagar
Year: 2003

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 3692
Hey Padal Onru (Tamil)

Film: Priya
Language: Tamil
Singer(s): K.J.Yesudas, S.Janaki
Music Director: I.Ilaiyaraja
Year: 1978

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 4080
Thumbi Vaa (Malayalam)

Film: Olangal
Language: Malayalam
Singer: S.Janaki
Music Director: I.Ilaiyaraja
Year: 1982

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 3822
Chinna Thai Aval (Tamil)

Film: Thalapathi
Language: Tamil
Singer: S.Janaki
Music Director: I.Ilaiyaraja
Year: 1991

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 3635
Kadhal Rojave (Tamil)

Film: Roja
Language: Tamil (initial humming in Desh Raga)
Singer: S.P.Balasubramaniam
Music Director: A.R.Rahman
Year: 1992

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 4441
Innale Ente Nenjile (Malayalam)

Film: Balettan
Language: Malayalam
Singer: K.J.Yesudas
Music Director: M.Jayachandran
Year: 2003

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 4576
Thumbi Vaa

Film: Ilaiyaraja – Live
Language: Instrumental
Singer(s): Instrumental
Music Director: I.Ilaiyaraja
Year: 2006

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 4123
Senthamizh Theyn Mozhiyaal (Tamil)

Film: Maalaiyitta Mangai
Language: Tamil
Singer: T.R.Mahalingam
Music Director: Viswanathan-Ramamurthy
Year: 1958

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 4068
Rajeeva Nayane Neeyurangu (Malayalam)

Film: Chandrakantham
Language: Malayalam
Singer: Jayachandran
Music Director: M.S.Viswanathan
Year: 1974

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 3284
Idhu Kuzhandhai Paadum Thalaatu (Tamil)

Film: Oru Thalai Raagam
Language: Tamil
Singer: S.P.Balasubramaniam
Music Director: T.Rajendar
Year: 1980

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 4469
Gokulathil Pasukkal Ellam (Tamil)

Film: Krishna Ganam – Devotional
Language: Tamil
Singer: S.Janaki
Music Director: M.S.Viswanathan
Year: 1980

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 3711
Aakasam Eynatitho (Telugu)

Film: Nireekshana
Language: Telugu
Singer: S.Janaki
Music Director: I.Ilaiyaraja
Year: 1981

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 4290
Swarna Mukhile (Malayalam)

Film: Ithu Njangalude Katha
Language: Malayalam
Singer: S.Janaki
Music Director: Johnson
Year: 1982

Jul 04, 2011 - youtube.com - 4078
Kanne Kalaimane (Tamil)

Film: Moonram Pirai
Language: Tamil
Singer: K.J.Yesudas
Music Director: I.Ilaiyaraja
Year: 1982

  • Mithun Kamath

    I was looking for this page for a long time… I am gonna download all these songs.

  • Interesting list though some more songs like ‘Maalai soodum veLai'(Naan Mahaan Alla-1983), ‘Siriththaal Sirppen'(Maariyamman Thiruvizha-1977), ‘Sugamo Aayiram'(ThuNai iruppaL Meenakshi-1977) could have also been included. But please tell me how ‘Chinna ThaavaL’ can be classified under Kapi.As far as I know, it uses the swaras of Charukesi and the BGM uses vivadi swaras giving a flavour of Ragavardhini.


  • D Shanmughaprasad

    aar0 viral meetti is in the raga of Hamsanatham

  • Subramanian

    Karimizhi Kuruviye Kandilla – Meeshamadhavan
    enna thapam saithanai – Kriti – Thilakkam

  • Shiburaj

    Kanneer Poovinte is based on Anandha bhairavi not Kapi

  • Test

    the song does not fit hamsanadam. the flute interlude to the song has S R2 M1 P and N3 notes. The song in the pallavi and anupallavi uses these notes along with D3 along with sparing use of M2 and G2.

    It probably can be classified as being in the melakartha scale of varunapriya with M2 as an anya swara.
    S R2 M1 P N3 S
    S N3 D3 P M2 G2 R2 S

  • Padma Bharathan

    yes chinna thaaaval is Charukesi raaga. which is correct? kapi or charukesi

  • Raj

    ‘Chinna thaaiavaL’ is based on Charukesi with a dose of vivadi swaras giving it a Ragavardhini flavour. Pl. read my write-up about the song though my intention here is surely not to promote my blog:


  • latha

    Yes. You are right. Not all the songs are based on Kaappi. “Kanneer Poovinte” is based on Anandha bhairavi. Hope she removes these songs to their appropriate places.

  • Rajalakshmi J

    There is an excellent song by the peerless TMS in the movie ” சமையல்காரன் ”
    in காபி ராகம் – ” நான் பாடிடும் கவிதையின் சந்தம்” .

    Similarly in the Tamil movie ” பட்டணத்தில் பூதம் ” KR.Vijaya (P.Susheela) sings a few lines in காபி ராகம் “தேனை மறந்திருக்கும்…” after which the hero Jaishankar brings her a cup of coffee .