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As a newbie I am trying to play these notes of O RE PIYA

http://sargamnote.blogspot.com/

To my ear, all the notes belong in the Low and Middle Octave of this beginner Bansuri Fingering Chart (as circled in Pink)

enter image description here

However the way it is written makes me think they are in two different octaves

I believe

DHA SA RE RE, MA GA SA DHA, DHA SA RE RE DHA PA MA GA MA, SA RE SA

should be re-written as as

'DHA SA RE RE, MA GA SA 'DHA, 'DHA SA RE RE 'DHA 'PA MA GA MA, SA RE SA

In other words, 'PA and 'DHA are in the Lower Octave while SA to MA are in the Middle Octave.

Is my thinking correct? Please advise.

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You are partly correct.

It is right that the song is in the mandara (lower) and madhya (middle) sthayis (octaves), whereas the notation incorrectly places all the swaras (notes) in the middle octave.

However, not every dhaivatam and panchamam in the given notation should be played in the lower octave. Only those that correspond to the lines "O Re Piya Haye" and "Tanabana Tanabana" should be played in the lower octave. The rest are in the middle octave.

Observe that the portion Dha Pa Ma Ga Ma, Sa Re Sa, corresponds to "Udne Laga Kyon" which is not in the lower octave because it's clearly not starting at the same pitch as "O Re Piya" (which is in the lower octave).


I should also add that the notation given in the link is not entirely accurate.

  • The section "Bunti Hawaa" is incorrectly notated. It is notated as Ni Re Pa Ga but it should be correctly notated as Sa 'Pa 'Ni 'Dha

  • The correct length of time for which each note should be played is also sometimes not accurately given. For instance, "Udne Laga Kyon" is notated as Dha Pa Ma Ga Ma , but this should instead be Dha , Pa , Ma Ga , Ma , ,.

  • More importantly, they have shifted the shadjam down by one note. You can observe this by comparing the pitch of the shadjam in the section where Rahat sings swaras from 2:50 onwards in the linked video. Pause at the point where he repeats the shadjam and then compare that with the pitch of "ya" in "O Re Piya". They are the same, yet the given notation claims that "ya" is to be played at the rishabham.

  • Thus, every note that is given in the link should actually be changed to one lower, that is Re should be changed to Sa, Dha should be changed to Pa, etc.

The last mistake changes the ragam of the song, even if it happens that the song can be notated in this manner without encountering any contradictions.

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    Wow, very thorough and comprehensive! Who knew, because Rahat is singing swaras, one can tell that notes should be changed to one lower. How fascinating! – Marium Apr 19 at 22:22
  • And I have to figure out instrumental notes between O Re Piya Haye, O Re Piya and Tanabana Tanabana Bunti Hawaa to eventually play on Bansuri – Marium Apr 19 at 22:24
  • @Marium The harmonium portion of the instrumental is the same as "Tanabana Tanabana". There is a small flute portion following that, and that part is a bit difficult to notate, though... – Brahadeesh Apr 20 at 3:06
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    Ah, ok then .... Will practice known notes, then delve into harmonium part. – Marium Apr 20 at 12:02

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