We look forward to your queries regarding practice and teaching of Music. Every week we shall feature the ones received and seek the helps of experts and our web-audience, visitors to provide a satisfactory explanation. Please click here to send. To arrange dedicated on-line learning sessions click here.


Both my wife and I are music enthusiasts and we really enjoyed browsing through your very informative site. We have been trying to find the meaning of a musical term.We wanted to understand what the term "Swarit" mean in a musical context. You could also point me to more resources to read about it. My basic google searches did not reveal much and I thought I would check with someone who knows music as well as you.



Thank you for your appreciation. Genuine queries add to knowledge domain. You would find some insight in this brief Note on Swarit.



I came across your site. The content seems to be pretty exhaustive and seems to be a kind of mirror for Indian music to the world, so, in my view, it should look beautiful and Indian.  I'd suggest you invest in the looks of the site.

Y Siddhant


Thank you for your appreciation. The site aims to aid online learning; visual appeal might well enhance the appearance. In the new version, we hope to enhance functionality. As professed in the article, we attempt to transcend visuality through intangibility.



I am a student of Banaras Hindu University. I am in 6th sem of B.Sc (deptt. of computer science). I have to do a project this semester. I am a Music student too. So I am trying to develop a system/ software with help of which one can easily do all the notation works. Can you please tell me if there is any other software that can do this so that i can have some ideas.

Durga Kavimandan


The system to input musical notations as text (in Bhatkhande and inOme Swarlipi) has been developed by Terence Tuhinanshu. It is heartening to see researchers and developers getting interested in this field. You may consult Dr. Ragini Trivedi's article Ome Swarlipi for principles involved and the book Sitar Compositions in Ome Swarlipi for understanding manner in which these notations are used.



I'm a student from Germany and the last half year I studied at the Banasthali University and learned Sitar and Tabla there. Now I'm back in Germany and doing a presentation at my university about "The traditional Indian music as shown on the sitar and tabla". I've looked through your homepage, emphasised by Dr. Santosh Pathak from the Banasthali University, and found many helpful information.

Now I have a problem with the "shrutis". I got that the octave is devided in 22 shrutis and the distance between them is not the same. But unfortunately I can't get the principle of partition.

Melanie Zell


The principle followed is "law of consonance" and "nav-trayodash shruti-antaraal". Bharat established Indian notes and microtonal units - shruti -- using Chatus Sarana. You may go through animation Chatus Sarana and Swar gram to understand how notes were established.



I wonder why the book Sitar Compositions available only at one book store lulu? Does it come with a CD or DVD of its compositions?  Could you provide a sample page of the book showing a composition? Could this compositions be plaid on Santoor?

Shantu Shah


Thanks for your query. We are forwarding it to Dr. Ragini Trivedi.
The book, for select circulation at the time you viewed, has been released and shall soon be available at other book-chains offline and online.
Showing a sample page would be of use only to those conversant with Ome Swarlipi. Yes, the compositions can be played on all instruments.



I got your reference from the net while searching for a picture for the musical instrument called 'shatatantu'. I need this image for a project that my daughter is doing in her school. The project is on ancient vedic musical instruments. Though I have searched the net extensively for this instrument, it's meaning and it's image, I have found absolutely no information on it.



Yatiman Padkhand has a refernce of Shat-Chandri -- either a derivative or an instrument distinct from Shat-Tantri. Shat is 'hundred; and Tantu or Tantri is 'string'. Modern Santoor has evolved from Shat-Tantri Veena. Shat-Tantu or shattantu does not find mention in major music texts but it clearly refers to Santoor.



 I am Tanya George a typography student studying in Sir JJ Institute of applied arts Mumbai. I would like to get some more information about the musical notation for Indian Classical Music.



As stated in replies to similar queries below, the Indian system for representation of Indian music is unique. Researchers in typography are greatly welcome in this neglected area. Bhatkhande's system has suffered by changeover from letter press to DTP. It is a challenge to represent phonic scripts through a system created for alphabetical languages. You should consult the reference pages given in all books dealing with compositions, e.g. Jaysukhlal Shah's Sarang ke Prakar or Kanhada ke Prakar etc. Please feel free to share your concerns and findings with our readers.


5/08/10 I am doing research about different musical notation systems. I've read your article omeswarlipi.htm It is very interesting. But I could not find any information about your system "Ome Swarlipi". Would you please send me the details of "Ome Swarlipi".
Tamer Erdogan


Western notation system represents sound graphically. Although several people have used it successfully to annotate Indian Classical Music, it is done only at level of sound. Bhatkhande created a different method which was abstraction of representation. Thus it can be understood by practitioners of Indian music alone. Ome Swarlipi was developed to address the challenges of understanding Bhatkhande notation system, but it retains the same principle of abstraction. Please share the result of your comparative study of different notation systems with our readers, especially Staff notation vis-a-vis Bhatkhande notation.


27/07/10 I am a student at London College of Communication, London, UK. I am currently pursuing my masters' in graphic design. I am doing  some research on the notation system for Indian Classical Music (Bhatkhande notation). As my thesis project for my masters', I am trying to design an alternative notation system for Indian Classical Music. I stumbled upon your website and read about Ome Swarlipi, and was very interested at looking and analyzing this new system. I would really appreciate if you could help me out in my project.
Dighe P.


Your interest is greatly encouraging. After all these years, the future of music publishing is brightening up. You may go through Ome Swarlipi to understand the background. You might consider contacting institutions of Indian Music engaged in validation process or wait for its formal announcement. As the article points out it involves a balance between universality and precision. Also one has to understand Indian Classical Music.


24/07/10 On a blog I read about Gandhar being inside Shadja. The author (http://shadajantar.wordpress.com) says that this can be heard distinctly by good listeners. Can it be possible that some other note is present within a note; would it not fail theory of music -- seven distinct notes...?
Gauri P.


There might be some misunderstanding. Gandhar is present in Shadja ( literally, Shadja means that which gives birth to six {notes}) but Shadja is not to be understood as a fixed frequency stand alone note. It is the primary note which establishes relationships between all notes. As it requires two strings minimum (one reference and other changeable) to create Shadja and related notes, the autonomous note Gandhar is heard soon as the two strings are tuned in Gandhar - Pancham relationship. Read Bharat’s Gram and ChatuhSarana


17/03/10 Hi my name is daniel, and im writing from mexico and i bought an esraj and i wish to make it sound good, and i think, there is a teacher on sarangi so he might help me, but also i wish to know of how much it cost a class?


A good teacher will be able to teach adequate content for any isntrument. The fingering techqniue of Esraj differs from Sarangi


3/03/10 I would like to have ome swarlipi notations for individual use, actually my cousin is a piano player. He is playing for last 6 years despite weak eyesight. Recently he showed me some notations & want to use it & I ended up them finding on your site.


Please check with your friend if he requires notations for Indian Classical Music? Western notations for piano are available in abundance. Ome Swarlipi would enable Indian musicians to write classical compositions with all necessary marks. You may register at omescribe for individual use.


3/03/10 When I was a few weeks ago in India and got lessons from my music pundit in
Kolkata I have learned my first piece in Dhammar style. Please give me a small
history of the Dhammar style? I also didn´t find there the tala Dhammar
after which the Dhammar is named.
Andreas Leitz


Dhammar is a form of Dhrupad sung in Dhammar taal. Read a brief note by Dr. Bageshri Joshi for more information.


18/01/10 I congratulate for a wholesome website you have put on....The "Query" section is also very usefull for all musically oriented people. My sincere regards to you for the efforts. Do you know about a book by Late Pt. Basant Thakar of Delhi University which is a compilation of his compositions. I also wish to buy the book published in your site "Distance Education in Music". If you know kindly inform me how to buy it?
Dr. Mallika Banerjee


Thank you Dr. Banerjee. You may request Padmavibhushan Prof. R.C. Mehta for a copy of JIMS dedicated to Distance Education in Music. A report of the first ever conference held on DE in Music is available at artindia You may write to Director, Allauddin Khan Sangeet Akademi about the text of papers presented in the conference. Pt. Thakar's compositions are no longer available in print, save a few of those printed in various issues of Sangeet, Sangeet Kala Vihar etc.


15/11/09 I have a query regarding veena. What are the differences between the three types of veena-Rudra veena,vichitra veena and saraswati veena? Can you please help? Also I would like to know if any book is available on this and where do I order it from?
Patrili Ghosh


Veena is a generic term used for Indian string instruments. In modern connotation, Veena indicates Rudra Veena and Vichitra Veena and the Carnatic counterparts, Tanjaur (or Saraswati) Veena and Gottu Vadyam. You may go through articles on Veena and order a copy of Bharatiya Sangeet Vadya from Bharatiya Jnapith, New Delhi.



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