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10 Thaats of Hindustani Classical Music

  • In a layman’s language to define, a Thaat is like a category under which there could be number of Raags. 
  • A Thaat is a sequential set of seven out of 12 notes. 
  • A Thaat will always have only seven different notes – either in their shuddh (natural) form or in their vikrit (moulded) form.
  • In Indian classical music, there are 32 Thaats, but following 10 Thaats are more prevalent.
  • Vikrit Swars are shown below in Red colour.
  • Notes written in Capitals are ‘Shuddh Swars’ and those written in Smalls are ‘Komal Swars’. # sign is for Tivr Madhyam.

Trick to easily remember the 10 Thaats.

Memorize this sentence – “Bhigi Kal Khoob Barish Me Kya Pata Aye Bukhar Tujhe”

Each of the first letter of the above words, represents the first letter of the following Thaats.  E.g., Bhigi=Bilawal; Kal=Kalyan; Khoob=Khamaj; Barish=Bhairav; Me=Marwa; Kya=Kafi; Pata=Poorvi; Aye=Asavari; Bukhar=Bhairavi and, Tujhe=Todi.

Now memorize a phone number – 0112223344

These numbers represents the number of vikrit swars that these 10 Thaats contain. E.g., 0=Bilawal as it has got no vikrit swar. 1,1 are the next two Thaats – Kalyan and Khamaj that contain one vikrit swar each.  Then 2,2,2 are the next three Thaats – Bhairav, Marwa and Kafi, that contain two vikrit swars each. Then 3,3, are the next two Thaats – Poorvi and Asavari, that contain three vikrit swars each. And lastly, 4,4, are the final two Thaats – Bhairavi and Todi, that contain four vikrit swars each.




S R G M# P D N


S R G M P D n


S r G M P d N


S r G M# P D N


S R g M P D n


S r G M# P d N


S R g M P d n


S r g M P d n


S r g  M# P d N

Now with the above vikrit swars (indicated in Red) play this:

M# | n |
rd | rM# | gn
rM#d | gdn
rgdn | rgM#d
Watch this video on how to memorize these 10 Thaats easily, which is getting very popular. 

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How to read SARGAM notations

  • CAPITAL LETTERS = Shuddh Swars (Pure Notes)
  • small letters = Komal Swars (Flat Notes)
  • A Note with # [hash] = Tivra Swar 
  • 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” or “khatka” which have to be played very fast without any pause
  • A Note in ( ) = “kann 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.
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