Playing Bansuri is like Typing

@Darshan Gupta has asked a question, which I myself used to wonder sometime back. I’m sure there will be many of you with this same or similar query:

“Sir actually m confused that which notes m playing on bansuri.. those are correct or not…For example… if m playing swar dha thn how I get to knw that m correctly producing sound of dha.”


playing bansuri is like typing. with practice, one is able to type correctly even without looking at the keyboard. similarly, when you keep practicing SARGAM on bansuri, your ears will be able to differentiate between correct and incorrect notes. Keep practicing daily even for 10 minutes, play alankars as much as you can. You doubts will soon be gone. Good luck.

There is only one Tivra swar

Many people, especially those who have just picked up learning flute, have a doubt that blowing harder on flute might produce Tivra sound for any note. This is not correct. Blowing harder produces sound of that note on its Higher pitch.

For example, if you play “kora kagaz tha“, which is a duet song, you can produce the female voice (high pitch) by blowing your flute harder on the same notes.

In Indian classical music there is only one Tivra swar and that is Ma. Ma can be shuddh but cannot be komal.

Sa and Pa are stationary, means only shuddh, these cannot be played as komal.

Rest of the notes viz., Re Ga Dha and Ni can be played as both shudhh and komal Notes.  Following chart will help you understand this:


How to read Indian notations

The SARGAM (Indian notations) posted in this website are arranged in the following manner.  Readers can take a clue from it and decipher the notations.  The following is how generally the Indian notations are written, but it is not the thumbrule.  You may find notations written in other style at other places.  But for this website, we will be adhering to the following rules.

  • CAPITAL LETTERS = Shuddh Swars (Flat Notes)
  • small letters = Komal Swars (Low Notes)
  • A Note with # [hash] = Tivra Swar (High Note)
  • Letter/Alphabet ONLY = Medium Pitch/Normal blow on flute
  • Letter/Alphabet PRECEDED BY a ” . ” [full stop] or  a ” , ” [comma] = Low Pitch/Softer blow on flute
  • Letter/Alphabet FOLLOWED BY a ‘ [single quote] = High Pitch/harder blow on flute
  • Notes in { } = “murki” have to be played very fast without any pause
  • A Note in ( ) = “kaan swar” has to be just touched before moving on to the next note
  • A “~” between two Notes = “meend”. That is, you have to glide from one note to another slowly to produce that wavy effect.