Music Notes  Beginners Class 2 : (Thanks to Amit Kumar for Writing the Notes)


  1. Singing  counts 1 2 3  with 4 counts ( 1234) in each beat


2.     Singing  counts 1 2 3 4 5  with 4 counts ( 1234) in each beat


3.     Singing    Sa  aa   in sequences such as :


        Sa            Sa

        Sa  Aa    Sa   Aa

Sa  Aa    Aa   Sa

Sa   Aa   Aa   Aa


4.     Swaram which is underlined   (or shown as a long note) such as  Sa   (Or Sa Aa) implies

stressing/stretching it.


|     Sa       Ri      |


       |     Sa Aa Ri Ga     |


        |     Sa Ri  Ii Ga     |


        |     Sa Ri  Ga   Aa  |




        |   Dha     Ni    |


        |  Dha  Ni  Sa  |


        |  Dha  Ni  Sa  |


        |  Dha  Ni  Sa  |




        |   Sa Ni          |


        |   Sa  Ni  Dha |


        |   Sa  Ni  Dha |


        |   Sa  Ni  Dha |




        |  Ga   Ri         |


        |  Ga   Ri   Sa  |


        |  Ga   Ri   Sa  |


        |  Ga   Ri   Sa  |




  1. Conceptualizing arbitrary swaras or combination of swaras:
    - It is difficult initially to conceptualize notes which are not next to each other, or those which are far off from each other. So you should practice systematically:

S R -  S  G      - S M -  S P -  S D  - S N  - S S             ||

RS   - R G – R M    - R P  - R D – R N  - R S              ||

And so on…

SN  -  S D – S P   - S M  - S G  - S R          - S S        ||


(the bold notes refer to the higher octave notes)


Similarly you should practice conceptualization of 3-sequence notes.


S  P  S  -  N  G  P -  D  R  M – R   N  G – etc  (you can have some fun and choose such note combinations. Be careful to not confuse a note with the word you utter. “N” is right only when you utter the syllable “N” at the right frequency)


Carnatic music has two types of music within it: "kalpita" and "kalpana". "Kalpita" music refers to pre-composed compositions or lessons (eg: the sarali varisa, geethams, krithis etc). "Kalpana" or "manodharma" music refers to improvised music. The examples we have seen above are improvisations based upon the basic ideas in the sarali, janta, alankaras etc. You should make it a habit to occasionally step out of the usual rote "classes" and try your hand at some imaginative twists (such as the examples we have discussed above). This will prepare you better for the "manodharma" aspects of music that show up at the time of "alapana" etc.


  1. Sarali Varisai example:

  |  Sa   Ri   Ga  Ma |


          |  Sa   Ri   Ga  Ma |


                  |  Sa Ri Ga Ma  Pa Dha Ni Sa |


          |  Sa Ni Dha Pa |


          |  Sa Ni Dha Pa  |


          |  Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Ri Sa |


Notes: One of the goals at the end of the elementary lessons (sarali, janta, alankaras, dhatu etc) is to be able to conceive and sing arbitrary combinations of notes. This is called "sruti jnana".