I am learning to play Tum Hi Ho via this tutorial

Harsh Dave sings out the saptak (he doesn't write it), hence there is a lot of pause, slow-play, and repeats to understand the notes.

Here at 2:30 I believe he is playing

sa re ga ma re sa re
sa re ga ma re sa re
ni re sa ni da ni pa da ni sa re

However, when he sings out the saptak at 2:50, the first two lines are same, but last third one has an added sa ni, i.e.

ni re sa ni da ni **sa ni** pa da ni sa re

I do not hear the sa ni when Harsh plays it. I don't even hear it being played very fast (Harsh likes to add his own ornamentation, I've noticed)

And when I try to play it, I can only play without the 'sa ni', i.e. if I add it before pa da ni sa re, the tune sounds different.

Can you check Harsh is in fact playing with sa ni, or it is an oversight?

  • 1
    Hope my amended answer helps! I suggest the Sriharsha version over the Dave one.
    – Rusi
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 7:10

2 Answers 2


I can hear the extra sa ni in the example he plays, but he makes it sound more like an ornament. When he sings the example the notes sound much more deliberate.

In my experience when musicians are both playing and talking in a video it's much better to orientate yourself to what they are playing rather than what they are saying (or singing).

  • As a start, I'll follow what I hear. Later on I'll attempt ornamentation.
    – Marium
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 23:31

I'd say Dave is taking the wrong tonic (sa) So (in my view) all his note (names) are wrong. Or if you prefer : off by 3.

That is where he starts

dha sa ga sa ma sa re ni

I'd say it should really be

sa ga pa ga dha ga ma re

Now you can do that to sing/play in the same (absolute) key as the original. But absolute do-re-mi or fixed do solfege is completely wrong way of doing Indian music.

Added later

I just found this version of Sriharsha Ramkumar

He doesn't make the wrong-sa mistake of Dave. However he skips the lead-up so... Dave 0:34 flute, swaras: 0:45 given as

ga dha pa pa ma ma ga re sa re ma ga

Becomes Sriharsha 3min 44 sec

pa sa ni ni dha dha pa ma ga ma dha pa

Note: He's giving S Indian (carnatic) style note names.

  • I'd say his note names are correct. He's playing a Bansuri with sa=A-flat. The beginning is in what Westerners would call F minor which I think is throwing you off: the second note (Ab) is sa and not the first (F). Also you're not answering the question which was about a later point in the tune
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 9:13
  • 3
    @piedpiper your facts are correct but you are insisting on a fixed-do formulation which is at least disputably useful in a western context and utterly wrong in an Indian one. In an Indian context – always movable do – if I have an Ab flute and I want to play an F piece I should transpose the piece up 3 semitones before assigning do-re-mi (sa-re-ga) names. The real question is that in OP's first link is the very first note a minor 6th or the tonic?
    – Rusi
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 9:45
  • For Harsh Dave the first note is the minor sixth (dha). Since he's the expert here, I accept his version.
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 9:48
  • This doesn't seem to answer the OP question about the heard extra notes.
    – user39614
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 3:22
  • 2
    @davidbowling True; it doesn't. But which is worse: right answer reinforcing wrong methodology/practice? Or calling out a misguided and misguiding practice? I think saying an F min piece is in Ab major is questionable even in western tonal music. In Indian music which is much more overwhelmingly tonal – one can attend a whole night concert in which the tanpura never stops – is way more outrageous.
    – Rusi
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 3:49

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