Harikamboji is an ancient raga and one of the important ones. Its presence in the Pann system of ancient Tamil music (where it is called Sempaalai) underscores this point. It is one of the important classical scales and has an universality about it. The importance of the scale can also be gauged from the fact that Harikamboji is one of the ragas that comes up in the graha bheda sequence that also includes Shankarabharanam, Todi, Kharaharapriya, Kalyani and Natabhairavi, all six of which make up the most important melakarta ragas.

However, in recent decades, maybe even centuries, Harikamboji has ceded a good part of its popularity to other closely related ragas such as Kamboji and Khamas. M S Subbulakshmi was one musician who used to sing Harikamboji quite often. In recent years, young musicians such as Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Vijay Siva and Sowmya have contributed to a renewed interest in the raga.

In terms of prayogas, taking the more popular Kamboji and Khamas as reference points, Harikamboji has a lot in common with these two ragas, which might be a reason for its diminished popularity.... Some of the well known songs in the raga are Dinamani Vamsha, Rama Nannu Brovara and Entaraani Thana, all by Tyagaraja. Incidentally, there are recordings of all the above kritis by M S Subbulakshmi, whose rendition of Vandaadum Solai is also popular. In recent years, Mysore Sadashiva Rao's Saketa Nagara Naatha and Papanasam Sivan's Enadhu Manam Kavalai Enum Irul Soozhndhaal have also formed part of the Harikamboji repertoire in concerts.

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