Equivalency between Indian Classical Saptak and Western Notes?

Asked by: Jacqueline Robinson

What are the similarities and differences between a saptak in Indian music and an octave in Western music?

In Indian music, Sa and Pa (1st and the perfect 5th) have a fixed pitch. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th notes are variables. An octave consists of seven notes and is called a “Saptak.” The eight note is double the frequency of the first note and thus is an octave higher. Thus, a ratio of 2:1 frequency yields an octave.

What is raga similar to in Western music?

Pitch and Melody
Melodies in Indian music are classified by an ancient system of ragas. A raga (pronounced RAH-guh) is a collection of pitches, kind of like a scale or mode in Western music. Each raga is defined, however, not only by the pitches themselves, but also by specific formulas for using them.

How is Indian raga music different than Western music?

The raga is a melodic framework that is a combination of swaras, while tala is the basis of rhythm which keeps the time cycle. The Indian music is based on melody or single notes played in a specific order. The Western music, on the contrary, is based on harmony that uses tonic progression and counterpoint abundantly.

Which is the equivalent western notes for SA?

The Sa can be C, D, E, F, G, A, B anything! In fact it can be C# or Ab too. When you play a western staff music notation, you are expected to play exactly as it is written.

What are the important similarities and differences between the Hindustani and the Carnatic styles of classical music?

Carnatic Music originated in the Bhakti movement, while Hindustani music originated during the Vedic period. Therefore both have a great link with religion. Both the music developed with Sanskrit language scripts in itself and through Vedic traditions.

What is saptak called in Western music?


In western music saptak is called octave, octa meaning eight. In Sanskrit, saptak literally means containing seven and is derived from the Sanskrit word Septa which means seven.

Which is better Indian classical music or Western classical music?

Indian classical music has a closer, intimate association with nature than Western classical music. Ragas have specific times of day or seasons of the year associated with them, while most Western classical music does not have any such characteristic.

Is Indian music tonal?

Indian music is tonal and has many features in common with Western music. One of the most significant differences is that the primary means of expressing tonality in Indian music is through melody, whereas in Western music it is through harmony (the use of chords).

How many saptak are there in Indian music?

Saptak means “gamut” or “the series of eight notes“. It denotes the set of swaras i.e. Ṣaḍja (Sa), Ṛiṣabha (Re), Gāndhāra (Ga), Madhyama (Ma), Panchama (Pa), Dhaivat (Dha), Niṣāda (Ni), Sadja (Sa) which comprise a musical scale in Indian classical music.

What are the 7 ragas?

These primary divisions of Ragas are:

  • Raag Asaravi.
  • Raag Bhairav.
  • Raag Bhairavi.
  • Raag Bilawal.
  • Raag Kafi.
  • Raag Kalyan.
  • Raag Khamaj.
  • Raag Marwa.

How many notes are there in Indian classical music?

Similar to Western music, there are 12-semitones in the Indian music scale. The scale can be further divided into 22 notes (shruti), which are notes between the semitones – it is not necessary to know about these notes for the purposes of Indian Takeaway – Rāg and Tāl Basics.

Are there 12 notes in an octave?

In the western musical scale, there are 12 notes in every octave. These notes are evenly distributed (geometrically), so the next note above A, which is B flat, has frequency 440 × β where β is the twelfth root of two, or approximately 1.0595. The next note above B flat, which is B, has frequency 440 × β 2.

Why does Western music have 12 notes?

The idea behind twelve is to build up a collection of notes using just one ratio. The advantage to doing so is that it allows a uniformity that makes modulating between keys possible.

How many scales are there in Western music?

In total, there are 12 major scales because the major scale pattern can begin on any of the 12 notes of the musical alphabet. What’s really interesting is that some major scales can be spelled out using either sharps or flats even though they would sound the same.