Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Things Good to Know

This is a glossary of terms used in Indian Classical Music. You will hear these terms at times in the audios on this blog. A thorough understanding of these concepts is a prerequisite for learning Indian Classical Music. On this blog, we are not going to delve deep into these theoretical aspects of Indian Classical Music. This blog is only for the music students, novices and beginners. Hence, we will spend more time on actual lessons and practical aspects of singing.

Definition of Swar: Swar is nothing but a musical note. There are seven Standard Notes in Indian Classical Music as given below. We call these notes as "Shuddha Swar".

Shuddha Swar: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni.
They are also called Shadja, Rishabh, Gandhar, Madhyam, Pancham, Dhaivat and Nishad respectively.

Komal Swar: Out of these seven swars, Re Ga Dha and Ni become "Komal" when their frequency is lower than their Shuddha form. Their place on the keyboard or on harmonium is one note previous to their Shuddha Swar's note. We denote komal swars on this blog by marking a (k) in front of them.

Teevra Swar: Among the seven basic swars, only one, that is, Ma becomes Teevra when its frequency is higher than its Shuddha form and its place next to its Shuddha swar's place on the keyboard or on the harmonium. We denote teevra swars on this blog by marking a (t) in front of them.

Therefore the sequence of these 12 swars including their Shuddha, Komal and Teevra forms is
Sa   Re(k)   Re   Ga(k)   Ga   Ma   Ma(t)   Pa   Dha(k)   Dha   NI(k)   Ni   SA

Notation Used on This Blog for denoting different Swar: In the notations we have used on this blog, we are showing Komal swar by marking (k) and Teevra by marking (t) next to the swar's symbol.

Saptak: is a group seven prominent notes on a keyboard or harmonium. There are three main Saptaks on a harmonium. The lower saptak is called Mandra or Kharjaa Saptak(which is the group of seven prominent notes in the left most part of the harmonium), the middle Saptak is called Madhya Saptak(which is the group of seven prominent notes in the middle part of the harmonium) and the upper Saptak is called Taar Saptak (which is the group of seven prominent notes in the rightmost part of the harmonium).

On this blog, we are using capital letters to show the swars from Taar Saptak where the frequencies are higher than normal or Madhya Saptak. We are showing small letters to show Mandra or Kharjaa saptak (frequencies are lower than normal or Madhya Saptak).




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Definition of Taal: Taal is nothing but Rhythm in English. There are many types of Taal used in Indian Classical Music. Some examples of Taal used in the lessons on this blog are:
Ektaal: A cycle of 6 beats for Madhya Laay (Medium speed rhythm)
             and
             A cycle of 12 beats for Thaay Laay (slow rhythm).
Tritaal: A cycle of 8 beats for Madhya Laay (Medium speed rhythm)
             and
             A cycle of 16 beats for Thaay Laay (slow rhythm).
Zaptaal: A cycle of 10 beats

Taal can be used at varying speed based on the requirement of the singer. We are using Madhya Lay Taal (Medium Speed Rhythm) for almost all the lessons.

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Definition of Raag: is presented by an artist using the following 4 things in the rhythm chosen by the singer.
1) The kind of swars included in each Raag are unique (e.g. Shuddha, Komal, Teevra.)
2) How those swars are used in ascending structure which is called as Aaroh and in descending structure which is called as Avaroh.
3) The most prominent swar in the Raag is called Vaadi (वादी). Second most prominent swar in the Raag is called Samvaadi (संवादी).
4) The Mukhada (face) or Pakad is a cluster of a few notes by which Raaga is recognizable.

25 comments:

  1. This was really good to know, great help for the like minded people.

    Thank you for putting all this together. Will definitely make use of this sometime.

    Ganesh
    Chicago

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  2. Very helpful & encouraging

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  3. I think this is one of its kind initiative in teaching online music free of cost.Thanks a lot for this. Words are not enough to say thanks to you and entire team behind this.

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  4. I don't know how to thank you for this blogspot, I am learner and just started learning playing Harmonium, I shall be highly obliged if I get more and more knowledgeable materials,

    Narendra

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  5. Thanks for sharing your music knowledge. Very well organised, and presented.

    Vanita

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  6. Excellent contribution! I just hope more people spread their musical knowledge to the world!

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  7. Too good. I am just learning and you have made it very simple. Thanks

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  8. i wondered everywhere but now i found a place where can i get basic knowledge of HCM

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  9. Very good and helpful for someone who loves formal music and want to practice and enjoy it in leisure and isolation. It is a new found treasure to me.

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  10. Very useful, thanks for your efforts putting this together!

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  11. Thanks alot Mam...this really helped me understand and clear my basics....
    I'm learning Indian classical Violin since one year now, but the text books were in hindi, which i could not clear my doubts well, reading these basic facts, it really helped me.

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  12. Thank you so much, This is one of the best blog for Sargam/ music..... Full of great information..... Really appreciate and greatful

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  13. came by chance across your blog, cannot thank you enough for making it easy to learn, GOD BLESS

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  14. It's a great help to each and every soul who wants to learn Music right from basics hence I would like to thank you Madam for this incredible gift to everyone. Regards

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  15. Thanks a lot.. Keep it up... this is very valuable useful nd easy to understand for all.. I feel lucky dat i got this blogspot

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  16. The basics of hindustani music is very simply and clearly explained. Thanks for sharing this.

    We want more such stuff!

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  17. Thanks for the valuable information...Gratitude.

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  18. thanks for great information for beginners as well professionals.

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  19. Very easy and good explanation indeed for the music lover like me. Thanks a lot.

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  20. Thanks to the whole team for presenting the basics essense of the Humongous Indian Classical Domain in such a layman's Terms! Dhanyawad

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  21. This is awesome collection.

    I am bansuri student. The notations help me a lot.

    Please add more ragas to this collection.

    Appreciate your greatly.

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  22. First day o mine towards music basics, feeling great

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