This arrangement is also for keyboard in which you use your  both hands but you use right hand in playing harmonium.

As mentioned earlier in Fig 1, we have assumed the first white key to be the Sa (S), for convenience. But from now we will use black key as our first starting point for Sa (S). You will find that there are sets of 5 black keys on the keyboard. Each set of those 5 black keys is made up of 2 + 3 black keys. The first white key is that white key which lies immediately to the left of the first black key. Since there are several sets of 5 black keys, there will also be several "first white" keys. In a saptak there are total 12 keys which consists of 5 black keys and seven white keys as mentioned below:

You are going to use only your right hand to play melody on harmonium/keyboard. The right hand fingers are numbered as follows:

The  thumb  is numbered 1
The  index finger is 2
The middle finger is 3
The ring finger is 4
The little finger is numbered 5.



In western system there are 12 scales while in desi system there are ten thaat. A thaat is the ascending and descending movements from S R G M P D N S', and back that is, S' N D P M G R S. All the 8 notes are always included, in that order, in a or thaat. In these lessons thaat uses only " first black" key as starting point, that is, natural. We will always fix our first note from  first black key in madh saptak which is easier for  sargam practice and playing songs. Sargam means seven notes in ascending and descending order. For a complete sargam we also include 8th note of the next saptak which is Sa'.

Know Your Swars

In music there are seven notes in a ‘Sur’ which are Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni  There are twelve swar in one saptak because five swar also have their  saathi swar. Only two swar are called achal swar (fixed swars) because they do not have any saathi swars. The Achal swars are Sa and Pa.  

The following five tiver swar have their saathi swars

1.  Re

2.  Ga

3.  Ma

4.  Dha

5.  Ni

Sa and Pa are not included in the above mentioned five swar.  The reason is this that their saathi swars do not exist.  These swar are called achal swar.  These achal swar are not komal nor tiver.  To distinguish komal and tiver we will write  komal swar  with the small letters and tiver swar with capital lettesr as given below:

List of Komal Saathi Swar  of Re, Ga, Ma, Dha, Ni  

Komal Swars are shown in small letters.

Komal Re          ---------                   r

Komal Ga          ---------                  g

Komal Ma          ---------                  m

Komal Dha        ---------                  d

Komal Dha        ---------                  n


List of Tiver Saathi Swar of Re, Ga, Ma, Dha, Ni  


Tiver Swars are shown in capital letters.


Tiver Re          ---------                  R

Tiver Ga          ---------                  G

Tiver Ma          ---------                  M

Tiver Dha        ---------                  D

Tiver Ni           ---------                  N    

Achal or Qyme Swars  


Achal or Qyme Swars are also shown by capital letters.

Achal Swars  ---------             S and  P  

We can also write the whole sargam by combining achal komal and tiver as S r R g G m M P d D n N S.  (here S and P is called achal or qyme swar and without komal and tiver saathi swar). When all the swar are tiver in a Sargam then it will become the sargam of Raga Aiman or Kalyan. Raga aiman or kalyan is same.  In the Sargam of Raga Aiman  all swar will be tiver along with Sa and Pa which are achal or qyme swar. These tiver and achal swar are represented here as under:-


       Tiver Swars or Sharp Swars:             R,      G,      M,       D,      N

                                                                                          Achal              S,       P,


There are total 12 notes in one saptak:  5 Komal + 5 Tiver+ 2 Achal = 12  

This rule will apply to all three saptak in a harmonium and in all four or five octaves in a keyboard. In the below given diagram  we have shown notes from all three saptak which are mandar, madh and taar. The below given notes are shown only for understanding different notes arrangements.


Playing arrangement (1) from first white key


              Here ACH = Achal  Swars,  TIV = Tiver Swars, KOM = Komal Swars


Here starting from first white key as our Sa  the arrangement of notes will be as given below:-  


Note : The first  note or key  just attached  after Sa  is always Komal Ray, then  Tiver Ray, then Komal Ga Then Tiver Ga, then  Komal  Ma then Tiver Ma,  Achal Pa Then  Komal Dha, Tiver Dha, Komal Ni Tiver Ni,  Then Achal Sa.


Or we can write whole sargam as S r R g G m M P d D n N S


In the Diagram.2 we are starting from left side and from first white key.  The immediate key just attached to Sa is r with key number 2.  With r the next  immediate key just attached is R with key number 3 and with R the next key just attached is g with key number 4 and so on . . . . .The keys attached with each other are show by numbering 1,2,3,4,5……36.

We can also explain in another way: After Achal Sa there will be Komal note then Tiver, and so on…………. Pa is also Achal  and after Pa then there will be Komal Dha, Tiver Dha and so on  If you will recognize komal and tiver Swars then you will be able to understand thaat, scale,  ragas and song notation which will help you play a song. Many old and new song are composed  in a particular Raga.

Saptk: A saptak is the complete set of five komal and five tiver swars  along with two  achal swar  which are Sa and Pa. So there are total  twelve swars in a complete sargam.  

Actual playing arrangement (2) from first black key in desi style


Our actual playing arrangement for further lessons

Here starting from first black key as our Sa  the arrangement of notes will be same as mentioned in playing arrangement (1) above.  


Note: The first  note  or key  attached just after Sa  is always Komal Ray  Then  Tiver Ray, Komal Ga Then Tiver Ga,  Komal  Ma then Tiver Ma,  Achal Pa Then  Komal Dha, Tiver Dha, Komal Ni Tiver Ni,  Then Achal Sa.


Or we can write whole sargam as S r R g G m M P d D n N S


In the Diagram arrangement (1) above  we are starting from left side and from first white key.  The immediate key just attached to Sa is komal r with key number 2.  With komal r the next  immediate key just attached is tiver R with key number 3 and with again with tiver R the next key just attached is komal  g with key number 4 and so on . . . . .The keys attached with each other are shown by numbering 1,2,3,4,5……35 for your understanding only.


Thaat  or Scales  


The set of Seven Notes which can produce a Raga is called a Thaat in Urdu or Hindi and ragas produce melodious songs. The system of classification for the raga in different groups  is called a thaat. There are again several systems of classification of the raga. If you want to learn keyboard or harmonium the practice of thaat is important. If you want to sing-along music notes then sargam and raga practice is important. If you learn thaat then you can learn raga and can play many songs. Beauty in playing a song appears when you use ragas. One can play song in a thaat  but there are very few songs for a particular thaat. Ragas can produce many songs. Thaat have fix seven notes where in ragas notes can vary. There are certain rules for these thaat.  Thaat is a desi scale of seven notes. For harmonium beginners tent thaat practice is essential. First try to learn ten thaat and try to play only thaat based songs. Without practice of thaat based songs never try to play raga based songs.

1. A Thaat must have seven notes out of the twelve notes placed in an ascending or descending order. Both the forms of the notes can be used.

2. Thaat  has only an Arohi.

3. Thaats are not to be sung and are for only playing music songs but the ragas produced from the thaat are sung. We can play music of song with a thaat but beauty will only come if we play music with ragas.

4. Thaats are named after the popular raga of that thaat. For example bhairavi is a popular raga and the thaat of the raga bhairavi is named after the raga.

5. Out of ten thaat  about 80 ragas are developed and performed these days. But  for a beginner 30 ragas are sufficient for perfection and practice.




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