Music / 23.08.2010

By Anjum Altaf We concluded the last installment with an explanation for why there are 12 and not 7 swaras in a saptak. We will take a breather in this installment going over the names of the new swaras thereby completing our knowledge of the alphabet of Indian music. This would prepare us for a perspective on music as a language. Recall from the last installment that the sequence of swaras in a saptak now appears as follows: S * R * G M * P * D * N S The asterisks denote the five new swaras added in the saptak (the black keys on a keyboard – note the characteristic 2-3 pattern mentioned before). The convention adopted in naming them is not to give them independent names but to treat them as altered or vikrit swaras that are auxiliary to the seven principal swaras (in Indian music...