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:

Shuddh S R G M P D N
komal r g d n
Tivra M#

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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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