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I shall start with explaining a little about Saptaks which might make it easier to understand the notations.

Madh : middle

Sapt : 7

Saptak: containing 7. It's technically an octave....but in Indian classical music the last Sa belongs to the next saptak. Also, the literal translation of an octave would be 'ashtak'. So, doesn't make much sense there.

An image about saptak on Harmonium.


Mandr : lower (dunno if that's the literal meaning)

Taar : higher ( " )

The above picture shows the saptaks very well but a horrible depiction od komal and Ma teevar sur.

Usually the Mandr saptak keys are denoted with a dot beneath them and the Taar saptak keys with the dot above them. But then again, it's in English.

Compare the image below to the one above to see the way octaves can be moved around according to the Sa you choose.


The followinf images are a Punjabi notation, from the website of Jawaddi Taksaal and shows a bit how keys are normally written.



Simple explanation for Ma teevar sur: When all the shudh(pure/normal) keys and Komal keys are marked, there is only one left, right next to Shudh Ma. That is a Teevar Ma.

Now, one might ask why this is Teevar and the other Komal.

In this case, Teevar : slightly higher

Komal : slightly lower (komal = soft)

This video explains a bit about the sargam and how Sa can be changed accoording to the scale you want to sing on.

Hope this helps a bit :smile2:

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I don't understand this!!!Too confusing!!!


Under every number there is a keynote below which is a word of the line that's to be sung.

The numbers are the beats of the taal for the shabad. The keynote below the number means that that 'sur' is to be played in that beat. The word of the lined below the keynote is to be sung when that beat and 'sur' are being played.

Teen-taal has 16 beats. Therefore the above notations have the numbers/beats from 1-16. Had it been 'Dadra' the numbers/beats would've been 1-6 and so on.

I hope I haven't made it even more confusing.

Please do let me know if you don't understand anything in particular. I'll be happy to explain :)

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I saw this in the link u just put up and dont know what keys to press on the baja :/

plz tell

Madh Saptak: sa re ga ma pa dha ni

Taar Saptak: SA RE GA MA PA DHA NI

Komal sur : -re-, -ga-, -dha-, -ni-, -RE-, -GA-, -DHA-, -NI-

1 2 3 4 | 5 6 7 8 | 9 10 11 12 | 13 14 15 16

SA SA SA -dha- ma -ga- -ga- -ga- SA ni SA SA SA SA ni -dha-

Jha garh dang na garh dang ba garh dang ba je

1 2 3 4 | 5 6 7 8 | 9 10 11 12 | 13 14 15 16

-ga- -ga- ma ma -dha- -dha- ni ni SA SA SA ni SA SA SA SA

gaa garh dang ga ji ma ha ga j ga je

1 2 3 4 | 5 6 7 8 | 9 10 11 12 | 13 14 15 16

-GA- -GA- -GA- -GA- -GA- -GA- MA MA -GA- -GA- SA ni SA SA SA SA

gaa garh dang ga ji ma ha ga j ga je

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I saw this in the link u just put up and dont know what keys to press on the baja :/

plz tell

Dear Bhenji/Bhaji,

Please refer to the second post in this thread: http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?/topic/70276-keertan-notations/?p=568612

The images explain about notes and keys.

Please do watch the video linked from you tube as well. It's a very simple explanation about how the note-scale can be changed according to how high or low you'd wish to sing.

Please also refer to the post directly above your's where I've tried to explain what the notation is all about.

Do not hesitate to ask me if you need help with anything in particular regarding the notations. I'll try my best to help :)

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