September 24, 2021

Sargam Lesson 1

Raga Bhairavi Sargam

Exercise 1 (Raga Bhairavi Arohi)

Notes with blue dot are Sa and Pa (fixed notes).
Notes with green dot are komal.
Notes with red dot are tiver.

Every thaat is also a raga and in this exercise we will practice raga bhairavi notes. In raga Bhairavi Sa, and Pa are achal notes and all remaining notes are komal. Komal notes are always written in small letters and tiver notes in capital letters.  Do not forget to revise your previous exercises before starting new. Raga Bhairavi belongs to Bhairavi Thaat. It is a late morning Raga, and traditionally is the last raga performed at a session. Bhairavi uses all the seven notes in the ascending and descending order, Rishab, Gandhar, Dhaivat and Nishad being komal (flat) and Madhyam being shudh (full). The derivative ragas out of this structure are grouped under the broad head of Bhairavi Thaat. Its Jaati is Sampooran – Sampooran and its Vaadi note is Pancham and samvadi note is Dhaivat

In the above picture bhairavi komal notes are shown as green whereas achal and fixed Pa is represented by blue dots. Here bhairavi notes are shown in all three octaves. In any Raga sargam ‘Sa, and ‘Pa’ notes remain same and never changes. Sa and Pa note is without a buddy note and shown in blue dots. In all ragas Sa and Pa is always written in capital letters. Raga bhairavi fingering pattern is different from raga kalyan.

Bhairavi sargam notes in middle octave with finger numbers
In below given picture (a) komal notes are shown with green colour and tiver notes are shown with red colour. If we delete all tiver red notes then below given diagram (a) will become bharavi diagram e.g see diagram (b).

Tiver and komal notes shown together (a)

Komal notes of bhairavi shown in all three saptak (b)
Now we will practice raga bhairavi sargam in six stages as we have practiced in kalyan sargam in previous lessons. Our first exercise will be arohi of raga bhairavi, which is in ascending order. All our basic lessons in bhairavi will start from middle or madh saptak for ease and simplicity.

First Stage: – Raga Bhairavi Arohi S, r (fingers 2,3)

In our first stage we will practice only two swar that is Sa and Re. With our index finger number two we will press first note of bhairavi that is ‘Sa’ and will synchronize our voice with this swar for five seconds. After remaining on first note we will press second note of bhairavi sargam that is ‘Re’ and will again synchronize our voice with it. Do not forget to repeat this exercise again and again for ten minutes until perfection is achieved. Note with blue dot is to play first.

Second Stage: – S, r, g (fingers 2, 3, 1)
In second stage we will include second and third note of raga bhairavi that is Re and Ga. Press note ‘r’ with your third finger and note ‘g’ with your thumb synchronize your voice with these notes for five seconds.

Third Stage: – S, r, g, m (fingers 2,3,1,2)
Continuing our Sargam from second stage we will enter third stage by pressing fourth note of ‘m’ with our 2nd finger and will synchronize our voice with it. We will practice all these three notes continuously for ten minutes as stated before.

Fourth Stage: – S, r, g, m, P, d (fingers 2,3,1,2,3,4)
Now we will include two more notes in our bhairavi sargam that is ‘P’ and ‘d’ and again will synchronize our voice with these notes. Practice these six notes for ten minutes all over again for about ten minutes.

Fifth Stage: – S, r, g, m, P, d, n, S’ (fingers 2,3,1,2,3,4,1,2)
Now include sixth and seventh note ‘n’ and ‘S in bhairavi sargam and synchronize your voice with these notes. We will use our fourth finger on ‘n’ and index finger on S’. Duration time for practice will be ten minutes.

Exercise 2 (Raga Bhairavi Amrohi)

Now we will practice amrohi of komal swars of raga bhairavi sargam in three stages. Komal notes are always written in small letters and tiver notes in capital letters. Notes ‘S’ and ‘P’ is also written in capital letters. All the notes of raga bhairavi are komal except ‘S’ and ‘Pa’ which are achal and never change in any raga.

First Stage: – P, d, n, S’, (fingers 2,1,4,3)

Our first note to start play with is shown in blue dot. Do not forget to use perfect fingering while performing exercise in stage one. While pressing each note of arohi for five seconds synchronize your voice with the note. Duration of this exercise must not be less than five minutes.

Second Stage: – S’, n, d, P, m, g (fingers 2,1,4,3, 2, 1)Add additional notes of ‘m’ and ‘g’ in previous stage and practice this exercise for ten minutes. You can increase your practice time until perfection.

Third Stage: – S’, n, d, P, m, g, r, S   (fingers 2,1,4,3, 2,1,3,2)

Continuing from previous exercise add additional notes of ‘r’ and ‘S’ for your practice. Duration of repeated exercise should be between 5-10 minutes.

Exercise 3 (Raga Bhairavi)                                                     

(Raga Bhairavi Arohi – Amrohi)

By completing arohi and amrohi of raga bhairavi in stages try to practice complete sargam of raga Bhairavi. When reaching on note S’ of third saptak in arohi please press note of S’ again for the practice of amrohi. Practice time should not less than half and hour. This exercise can be divided into different sittings if you feel tired.  

Arohi: S, r, g, m, P, d, n, S’ ascending order
Amrohi: S’, n, d, P, m, g, r, S descending order

Practice arohi and amrohi of raga bhairavi for at least three days. Gradually decrease your practice time for each note from 5 seconds to one second. In the beginning one second speed per note is sufficient.

Exercise 4 (Tiver notes in mandr saptak)                               

In this stage you will practice three swar in mandr saptak. Our starting point will be from Khraj note of ‘Sa’ in middle saptak and in descending order.

S, ‘N, ‘D, ‘P
‘P, ‘D, ‘N, S

Exercise 5 (Tiver notes in taar saptak)                                      

S’, R’, G’, M’, P’
P’, M’, G’, R’, S’

Here we will practice tiver swar in taar saptak for ten minutes. We will begin our practice from Khraj note of ‘Sa’ and in ascending and descending order.

Exercise 6 (Komal notes in mandr saptak)

S, ‘n, ‘d, ‘P
P’, ‘d, ‘n, S

Here we will begin our practice from Khraj note of ‘Sa’ in mandr saptak in descending order and then ascending order. Now you are familiar with the fingering position for sargam practice and it is not necessary to mention finger numbers. For sargam practice finger position is required but for playing a song not necessary.

Exercise 7 (Komal notes in taar saptak)                                                  

S’, r’, g’, m’, P’
P’, m’, g’, r’, S’

Practice komal notes in taar saptak and do not forget to synchronize your voice with the notes in all exercises. Our first note will be Khraj note of ‘Sa’ in ascending order and then descending order.

Exercise 8 (Tiver notes from mandr to taar saptak)                                  

‘P, ‘D, ‘N, S, R, G, M, P, D, N, S’, R’, G’, M’, P’,
P’, M’, G’, R’, S’, N, D, P, M, G, R, S, ‘N, ‘D, ‘P

Now we will practice tiver notes of raga aiman from mandr saptak to taar saptak. Our first note will be from ‘Pa’ of mandr saptak and in ascending order. Synchronize your voice with notes and practice for three days. Each session must be at least half an hour.

Exercise 9 (Komal notes from mandr to taar saptak)

‘P, ‘d, ‘n, S, r, g, m, P, d, n, S’, r’, g’, m’, P’
P’, m’, g’, r’, S’, n, d, P, m, g, r, S, ‘n, ‘d, ‘P

Now we will practice komal notes of raga bhairavi from mandr saptak to taar saptak. Our first note will be from ‘Pa’ of mandr saptak and in ascending order. Synchronize your voice with notes and practice for three days. Each session must be at least half an hour.