Harmonium is a keyboard, and so these lessons apply equally to the harmonium as well as to the electronic synthesizer keyboard. The important difference is that you can - and do play the electronic keyboard with your LEFT hand also; but for harmonium, your left hand is used in pumping the bellows to force air under pressure into the inside of the harmonium. In keyboard our left hand is used for chords. An ordinary keyboard is sufficient to master all the lessons that will follow. If you already have a keyboard, you do not need to buy anything else as of now. For solo performances, you can use a synthesizer keyboard or a harmonium, depending upon your taste, convenience and availability. Harmonium traditionally suits better for accompaniment during performance of Ghazals, Thumri, Indo Pakistani classical , and some other types of Indian . For accompaniment to movie songs, and all varieties of songs, the synthesizer keyboard is the preferred choice. Keyboard offer a wide variety of instrument sounds. Types of keyboards are given below:
In a keyboard the instrument sound you choose is called a voice. Before you play a song, choose a voice that you like. Practice selecting different voices, and remember the setting for the ones you prefer. Look your keyboard owner's manual to help you. When you play the songs you can use any sound you wish. The rhythm controls provide drum beats to play along with. These rhythm beats are also called styles. The drum rhythms or kits can be changed to suit the kind of song. If you have a keyboard equipped with floppy drive or flash usb media then you may copy rhythm styles in your keyboard which can be played using user style button. Melody keys are used to play the tune by right hand. The chord keys are used to play along with the melody with your left hand. Chords make the song sound full and harmonic. If you do not know how to play chords then you may use auto chord accompaniment.
Learning Keyboard in Desi Style
The article here is to teach you keyboard in Desi Style and in the end you will be able to play Indian and Pakistani based film songs. Harmonium, keyboard and synthesizer keyboard are taken to mean the same thing, and are called simply the "keyboard". The notations are used to describe the keys on the keyboard: In our lessons for convenience, the reference note, called the tonic or the Sa, is assumed to be the first black key, indicated by the letter "S". If you want to sing-along then you may assign any key as "Sa", according to your voice scale.
In this article the fingering system of keyboard and harmonium is kept same so, that we will be able to play both instruments. Most people who play harmonium find keyboard difficult due to different finger assignments. Some ians use first white key as starting or reference note (Sa) but we will use first black key as our starting reference note for quick learning..
Keyboard And Computer
can be defined as collection of small pieces of regular sound played at predefined time interval. It is the small water droplets that make the ocean, likewise is also an ocean that is made up of small parts, it is called a “note”. An ingenious collection of these notes played over a period of time results in a melody which could be a Mehdi Hassan or A . Rahman song. Hence both western and Indian has a set of basic notes from which they grow, something like alphabets. There is new concept evolving called “computer ” where a ian explores beyond the basic notes that are defined in . In cubase it is possible to explore beyond basics. Today almost all the keyboards are computerized and produce MIDI . MIDI means al instruments digital interface. Midi is editable in computer or in MIDI keyboards and midi can be produced with 16 individual tracks of different instruments.
Let us see more on Notes. “Notes” what are they? Note can be technically explained as a sound frequency. Actually the sound that is produced when you press a key on al keyboard is called as “NOTE”. It does not matter if you press the white key or the black key. Each key plays a predefined frequency. A frequency is number of cycles per second. The note gets its shape by the amount of time you hold down the key and release it. This is called the note length or duration. Hence to make a “tune” or a “melody” or “song” you should play a bunch of these notes at proper duration and length.
Western Notes Verses Indian
Indian classical has 7 basic notes (Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni), with five interspersed half-notes, resulting in a 12-note scale. Unlike the 12-note scale in Western , the base frequency of the scale is not fixed, and inter-tonal gaps may also vary. Before we can learn how to play scales chords and various progressions it is vital that we learn the notes on keyboard or harmonium and how they relate to each other. The best way to describe the notes on the keyboard is by comparing them to the notes of the alphabets. The first seven notes of the keyboard are ( A - B - C - D -E - F - G ). Each note differ with each other in sound. Notice that the seven notes of keyboard repeat themselves over and over again. The notes sounds the same but the pitch differs. For example if you play C and move to the right until you find the next C, you will notice that if you play them simultaneously, both notes sounds the same but one is higher than the other. It is a well-known fact that Indian is based on melody and Western on Harmony. This does not mean that Western does not include melody. In western , the harmonizing effect of different instruments and voices given to a certain melody plays the important role. In a similar manner in Indian the melody has an upper hand. Usually, it is said and believed that harmony doesn’t play a role in Indian . But, to my way of understanding, harmony is equally important in Indian classical performance though, not the way it is used in western . In Indian the harmony effect is a steady continuous drone effect created usually by a ‘Taanpura’.
Middle C marks the center of the keyboard. As you will notice the C major is the easiest and simplest scale of the twelve. It consists all the white keys from any starting C to the next octave C.
standard semi professional keyboard has
48 keys. You
will see 4 sets of 12 keys.
This 12 set of notes is technically called an
octave. Why 12, why not 13?, Good question. The
aim of this article is to keep it simple; Western
is based on logarithmic division. You can
start playing Indian or Pakistani song from any
note and starting note will always become our
reference note or Sa. Remaining notes will be arranged
according to thaat or scale of the song. It is more easy to start our
Hindi scale or thaat from first black key. In western
also, fifth note from C is as 5th .
In Indian “Sa” note is based on your reference note
or the key you selected for starting point as Sa. We can further
go in deep by playing song in of that particular thaat.
In the western system the “C note” itself does not change and “scales” denotes the pitch changes. Western system has an “absolute” naming for the keys whereas in Indian the notation is “relative. Desi have combined both. In the seven tone-scale the second, third, fourth, sixth, and seventh notes can be sharp or flat, making up the twelve notes in the Western scale. However, s can specify microtonal changes to this scale: a flatter second, a sharper seventh, and so forth. Furthermore, such variations can occur between styles, performers or simply follow the mood of the performer. In Indian there is no absolute pitch; instead, each performance simply picks a ground note, and the other scale degrees follow relative to the ground note.
Note: “Sa” does not “map” always onto “C”.
It could start
at F and still form a S R G M P D N scale in which case the
corresponding western notes also change. Presently you may
relate the “Sa” of Indian to “C” of Western which is
fortunately identical to each other .
A scale is a set of 7 notes in a proper order and intervals.
Just remember this, a scale is set of 7 notes with predefined
intervals. The distance between each note is called as interval.
It is true that
scales and s are not same. You will learn about s in
section of our book. Apart from
having seven different notes, there are not many similarities.
There is a huge difference between a scale and in tonal
quality or the sound density.
has many dimensions to it. First, it has an emotional overtone. Just simply going over Sa to Sa can be called as a major scale or Cmaj. Though the notes and intervals are just the same. A can have 4 or more notes with intervals. This kind of reduction of notes in a scale is called as modes in western classical . Experts believe proper training is required to play s fluently. This comes by good practice and understanding of note usage. A western trained first-rate ian will be able play a phrase of 1/64 note at a good speed but will find it difficult to play without proper training. It is the reason that western is fast. Indian is melodic in nature while western is harmonic in nature. Chords produce harmony. Now you will be ready to believe that it is not possible to play Indian songs with only western training. Desi Style lessons is the mixture of Western & Indian system.
Selection of first note
On the keyboard, the area
S through N is called a saptak or an octave. There are three
octaves: the Madh (middle), the Mandar (lower), and the Taar
(higher/upper). The lower octave is situated to the left of the
middle and is shown with a sign of
( ' )
( ' )
when represented on the paper; for
example, the P of the middle octave is represented simply as: P. The
note belonging to the lower octave has an apostrophe to its LEFT.
Thus, for example, the P in the lower octave is represented as: 'P.
The note belonging to the higher octave has an apostrophe to its
RIGHT. Thus, for example, the P in the higher octave is represented
as: P'. The 36 keys represent the notes in all three octaves
apostrophe( ' ) on the left side of the note. The upper octave is situated to the right of the middle octave and is shown with a sign of
( ' )on the right side of the note. Again, this is clearly shown in the diagram. Whereas a note belonging to the middle octave has no sign
( ' )
when represented on the paper; for example, the P of the middle octave is represented simply as: P. The note belonging to the lower octave has an apostrophe to its LEFT. Thus, for example, the P in the lower octave is represented as: 'P. The note belonging to the higher octave has an apostrophe to its RIGHT. Thus, for example, the P in the higher octave is represented as: P'. The 36 keys represent the notes in all three octaves e.g.. 12x3=36
*In the following diagram 'S means lower octave note ( left side of middle octave) and S' means higher octave note of harmonium or keyboard
( right side of middle octave). The rule of achal, komal and tiver will apply to all three diagrams in this page.
First White Key As Our Sa
Fourth Black Key Selected As Our Sa
|Lower Octave or Mandar Saptak||'S||'r||'R||'g||'m||'M||'P||'d||'D||'n||'N|
|Middle Octave or Madh Saptak||S||r||R||g||m||M||P||d||D||n||N|
|Higher Octave or Taar Saptak||S'||r'||R'||g'||m'||M'||P'||d'||D'||n'||N'|
First Black Key Selected As Our Sa
There may be five saptak in a keyboard. The saptak to the left of the keyboard is for playing chords and to the extreme right is one more taar saptak but with very sharp voice. We can also play melody in chords saptak but the sound of melody will show base sound. The chords saptak and extra taar saptak to the right side is not perfect for playing melody. In a complete saptak there are 12 notes which are seven white keys and five black keys. So, in a harmonium mostly there are three saptak and 36 keys but in a professional keyboard there are four to five saptak and 48-60 keys. It should be noted that in both instruments while playing songs you will usually deal with three saptak. In keyboards you will also use chords saptak which is located to the extreme left of keyboard. In keyboards or harmonium most of the songs begin from madh or middle saptak.
Achal or Qyme Swar: These notes are notated as S and P (the swar without saathi swar)
Komal or Flat Swar: These notes are notated as r, g,m, d, n & are shown in small letters.
Tiver or Sharp Swar: These notes are noted as R,G,M,D,N and shown in capital letters.
Achal, Komal, Tiver Swar: By combining achal, komal and tiver swar we get 12 notes of a complete saptak. S r R g G m M P d D n N
Achal swar Sa and Pa are also shown in capital letters. All notes belong to madh-saptak by default and have no sign of apostrophe. Notes of Mandar saptak are preceded by ( ' ) sign of apostrophe, and notes of Taar-saptak are succeeded by ( ' ) sign apostrophe. Lastly, a comma ( , ) represents a pause between notes. It is important that you learn achal, komal and tiver system of 12 notes of any saptak.
- Indian Kit Tabla Styles
- Arabic Kit Tabla Styles
- Yamaha Multipads
- PSR Custom Voices
- Styles Demo MP3
Contents Of Lessons
+ Harmonium Basics
+ Sargam Exercises
+ Raga Basic Theory
+ Raga Based Songs