So, I was thinking about the evolution of instruments in Indian classical (Hindustani, to be precise). We know Sa and Pa are achala swaras, and don't have any tivra or komal forms. Sa and Pa form the structure of musical system itself, hence they are held invariant. But, has this had any influence on the different instruments used during performance? For instance, the Tanpura as a drone generates Sa and Pa as reference (please correct me if I am wrong). Has this "invariance" of the two notes caused any changes in the way the instruments were fabricated over time, and the way they were played?

I know, the question sounds vague, so please do comment if clarifications are needed. And I am a beginner with a bit of idea on Classical music, so please excuse me for trivial mistakes.


I would have assumed that it has affected the creation of almost all instruments. Sa Pa form a Perfect Fifth, the constancy of which is a cornerstone of most music. Maybe approaching this question from the eyes of Western Music might give you some new insights? This lecture by Leonard Bernstein explains a lot about how these intervals might have come to us.

Again, your question is slightly vague and I'm not sure what kind of an answer you were expecting, but I hope there is enough information here for you to start searching for your answer

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The only influence would be that the instruments could match the pitch of male and female sa-pa scale so that they can be played in harmony.

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  • Thanks, but quite not a satisfactory answer! – Vishal Upendran Dec 19 '16 at 9:39

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