(A Musiczine by Gurudev)

Keyboard Music Notes & Piano Song Notations by Gurudev

Song Details

This section describes the keyboard notations used in the music notes of this website.

In the carnatic music system we distribute the 12 keys of an octave among the 7 swaras of a raga. The seven swaras are sa,re,ga,ma,pa,dha,ni.

Sa and pa have one key associated with them each ie the first and fifth white key respectively, ma can take any of the two keys i.e either third black key or fourth white key. Ri and Ga can share any two of the four keys between Sa (First white key) and Ma (Third black key). Similarly Dha and Ni can share any two of the four keys after Pa (Fifth white key).

See below for details of representing the twelve keys of an octave in the keyboard notes found in this site.

  • s  – Shadjama – First key in an octave
  • r1 – Shuddha Rishaba – Second key in an octave
  • r2 – Chatushruthi Rishaba – Third key in an octave
  • r3 – Satsruthi Rishaba – Fourth key in an octave
  • g1 – Shuddha Gaandhaara – Third key in an octave
  • g2 – Saadhaarana Gaandhaara – Fourth key in an octave
  • g3 – Anthara Gaandhaara – Fifth key in an octave
  • m1 – Shuddha Madhyama – Sixth key in an octave
  • m2 – Prathi Madhyama – Seventh key in an octave
  • p  – Panchama – Eighth key in an octave
  • d1 – Sudhdha Dhaivatha – Ninth key in an octave
  • d2 – Chatusruthi Dhaivatha – Tenth key in an octave
  • d3 – Shatsruthi Dhaivatha – Eleventh key in an octave
  • n1 – Sudhdha Nishaadha – Tenth key in an octave
  • n2 – Kaisiki Nishaadha – Eleventh key in an octave
  • n3 – Kaakali Nishaadha – Twelveth key in an octave

The above notations refer to middle octave of the keyboard.

Higher octave (octave immediately after the middle octave) notations will also be the same as above except that they will be in upper case.
For instance: n3 in higher octave shall be written as N3.
(See S, R1 in the above image)

Lower octave (octave immediately before the middle octave) notations will also be same as above except that they will be underlined.
For instance: n3 in lower octave shall be written as n3
(See d3,n3 in the above image)

NOTE: The above description is with respect to the base key being set to the first white key in the middle octave. You can transpose the scale accordingly once you understand the notations written here.

Transposing the scale is moving the scale a few notes higher or lower. For instance to consider the third white key in the middle octave as sa and reposition all other notes accordingly.

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  • SHIV MURTHY

    CAN YOU PLEASE SEND KEY BORD NOTATION FOR THE SONG CHALAT MUSAFIR FORM OLD HINDI RAJKAPOOR FILM THEESREE KASAM !

  • http://www.facebook.com/sandhya.subramaniam.5 Sandhya Subramaniam

    Excellent site.