Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

Hello music lovers from all over the world, we are overwhelmed by your responses ( more than 41,500 to date) to our efforts over the last 18 months. We deeply appreciate your comments and we will continue to fulfill our promise of expanding our site to include references to different popular songs from Hindi and Marathi films,adding more Raagas in the same format as we progress and adding Alankaras/ Palatas which are warm up exercises which also would help a student to gain voice control and gain purity of notes.  We are adding FAQs to our site.

Question 1: Which Raaga should I start with?
Answer 1: There are different schools of thoughts on this. Some traditional Gharanas usually begin with Raaga Bhoop. The reasoning is that this Raaga has only 5 swaras and only Shuddha swaras.  Others start with Raaga Yaman Kalyan since this Raaga has all 7 swaras. or notes.

Question 2: What are Alankars or Paltas ?
Answer 2: Alankars or Paltas are music exercises. Student repeats a group of notes in ascending and descending order with some criteria:

For example:

Alankar 1)  Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni SA
                  SA Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Re Sa

Alankar 2)  SaRe, ReGa, GaMa, MaPa, PaDha, DhaNi, NiSA
                  SANi, NiDha, DhaPa, PaMa, MaGa, GaRe, ReSa

Alankar 3)  SaReGa, ReGaMa, GaMaPa MaPaDha PaDhaNi DhaNiSA
                  SANiDha, NiDhaPa, DhaPaMa, PaMaGa MaGaRe GaReSa

Alankar 4) SaReGaMa, ReGaMaPa,  GaMaPaDha, MaPaDhaNi, PaDhaNiSA
                 SANiDhaPa, NiDhaPaMa, DhaPaMaGa, PaMaGaRe, MaGaReSa

Alankar 5) SaReGaMaPa, ReGaMaPaDha,  GaMaPaDhaNi, MaPaDhaNiSA
                 SANiDhaPaMa, NiDhaPaMaGa, DhaPaMaGaRe, PaMaGaReSA

Alankar 6) SaGa, ReMa, GaPa, MaDha, PaNi, DhaSA
                 SADha, NiPa, DhaMa, PaGa, MaRe, GaSa

Alankar 7) SaGaReSa, ReMaGaRe, GaPaMaGa, MaDhaPaMa, PaNiDhaPa, DhaSANiDha
                 DhaSANiDha, PaNiDhaPa, MaDhaPaMa, GaPaMaGa, ReMaGaRe, SaGaReSa

Important Note: Alankar practice must be done in right way either using harmonium or keyboard so that student recites proper notes as played on harmonium/keyboard.
Alankar - Video

Question 3: How the practicing paltas helps the music student?
Answer 3: Reciting paltas helps the student gain voice control.
                  It helps to stay in the same scale in which the student starts.
                  It helps to sing proper notes when student has to skip notes
                  because of the Raaga's Structure.

Question 4: Many of our fans request for notations for swarmalika,
Answer 4:  Now Notations for swarmalikas are available in the "List of Raagas"
                   under notations column. We are working on tabulating notations
                   for Bandishi also. Please look under "New updates".
Question 5: The steps to present any Raaga.
Answer 5 : The following steps are suggested for beginners.
1) Start with Aaroh and Avroha. ( This helps to establish the main idea of the raaga and this leads the presenter to proper notes (Shudha, Komal Teevra etc.) as well as the "Chalan" of the raaga.
2)Next is "Aalap" develop raaga starting with lower notes upto 'Ma' or 'Pa.'
without any taal.
3)Then comes the Bandish. Sing Bandish with Asthai and Antara with Taal.
4)Now Mukhada of Bandish and Aalap with taal. (usually the highest note is SA)
5)Mukhada of Antara and Aalap (usually the notes from Taar Saptak)
6)Come back to Mukhada of Bandish and present the Mukhada in different format within the frame of the Raaga you are singing.
7)Then the Taane (singing the notes in faster rhythm.)
8) Conclude the Bandish by singing "Tiyya".

Question 6: What are the steps to learn any Raaga?
Answer 6: The following steps are suggested for beginners.
1) Select the Raaga from the "List of Raagas" Start with Aaroh  and Avroha.
 Then listen to Swarmalika and Learn by heart  Swarmalika (like a song).
2) Go to "Lakshan geet" listen and learn that like a song.
3) Try to figure out any popular song(s) sounds like swarmalika and lakshangeet
4) You can google it to find whether your assumption is correct or not.
5) Go To the AalapTane Post. Try to learn by heart this post also.
6) One has to listen a lot of classical music to be familiar with any raaga and practice
properly the basics of that raaga from whatever sources are available.
Learning music is a "sanskar" a process and a long one because it is Tapasya. Still it's worth it.


  1. नमस्कार,
    आपली वेबसाईट खूप छान आहे.
    आपल्या कार्यास अनंत शुभेच्छा

  2. Its very good blog for Classical Music Learners. Am very much thankful for Mohiniji for Such a Informative site . Am always takes help while making Riyaz.... thanks once again

  3. I am so happy to find this blog! Was in search of Ragaa lessons for quite a while. Owing to work I find less time, which does not allow me to join and attend classes. I can now begin learning about classical music through this informative website. Thank you bringing such treasured knowledge in an organized manner within reach of so many aspirants. Please, keep updating!

  4. Thank you so much for the knowledge that you have shared. God bless you!