Rag Yaman is one of the most famous raags in Indian classical music. This raag has been abundantly used in many old and new Bollywood songs. All seven notes are used in this raag. There are many famous songs based on raag yaman . It is a very versatile raag, which means you will not only find classical pieces but also the semi classical pieces in this raag. You will also find light music pieces such as bhajan, Ghazals and many film songs such as ZARA SI AHAT HOTI HAI TOU DIL SOCHTA HAI, jAB DEEB CHALE ANA JAB SHAM DHALE ANA, CHANDAN SA BADAN, NAAM GUM JAYEGA, NIGAHAIN MILANE KO JEE CHATA HAI. The question must have risen in you mind that how was it known that these songs are based on raag yaman.

raag yaman kalyan

No raag can be recognized only by the notes that are being used. No raag is recognised by its phrases, the way it is sung, in Indian classical music it is known as chalan, so with the help of the chalan you can find out which raag is it. So all the songs that I have mentioned above are based on the chalan of raag yaman. Now what is the chalaan for raag yaman by listening to which we can say yes this is raag yaman. So remember the best phrase or the chalan is Ne – Re- Ga (B – D- E), so if you listen to these songs carefully you will see this first phrase. Now the second phrase of raag yaman is the combination of Pa- Re, and these two notes are to be taken in the form of glide, they must not be sung separately but with a glide or curved voice from Pa to Re (G to D). This glide can easily be seen in the song Chandan sa badan, or jab deeb jale.and Gar yaad rahey. It is very important to know that all seven notes are used in this raag but Ma (F) is sharp note in it. Some people used F note plainly , but remember in that case the name of the raag would not remain Raag yaman but it would change to raag yaman Kaliyan. If you listen to most of the Bollywood songs, you will find that F sharp note is not used in most of the cases. So we can undoubtedly say those songs are not based on raag yaman but on raag yaman kalyan. The most classical example of this song is the Mohammad Rafi’s Hit song,( Abhi na jao chor kar). This was important to give flavor to the song of requesting mood, if F sharp had been used in place of F major the flavor would have been entirely different. If you sing this song with F sharp, it won’t sound nice and would present an odd flavor to the romantic song.



Many people have question in mind and want to know what exactly alankar means and how to perform it. Well we shall discuss this topic in length to make known to music lovers what it exactly means. Can you imagine what ornamentation means to Indian culture? without ornamentation the culture of different parts of India is hard to understand, in each Province of India there is different kinds of ornamentation. In my view the alankar is just like the ornamentation of Indian classical music. without which perhaps the Indian classical music is just like an empty vessel. In Indian classical music the word alankar is used to denote ornamentation, it can also be called as paltas(different forms of singing the combination of notes in aroha and amroha, which means ascending and descending of notes.


These are taught to the students so that they can understand the distant and difference of various notes but today we are not referring to paltas as alankar but we are referring to alankar as ornamentation. This is special treatment given to a set of notes so that the melody looks beautiful and present specific identity. Well ornamentation is not just specific to Indian classical music but to general Indian music. The very first step that we learn in alankar is meend, which means a glide to other note in a kind of a curved manner. Like if you take plan note C, G, N you will just sing it as they are played on the instrument but in alankar you will have to sing them like the glide as it goes up and down without any break in it, I hope you understand.The good example of alankar can be found in the song sung by great Lata Mangeshkar, RISIK BALMAN. If you listen to this great song, you will understand how the alankar is performed. The next ornament is called khatka, which means to take notes with break, the best example is the song (MAIN TENU SAMJHAWAN KI). So the notes are taken with a little jerk or break, not planly. Khatkas are found in many Indian Bollywood songs. Now let me introduce you to the concept of Zamzam. It is a cluster of khatkas taken together. This is found in maharaster and punjabi folk songs in abundance. It is also a characteristic of tappa singing. It can also be termed as semi classical form of singing. The next is murki, it is nothing but a set of notes taken together quickly for example a very famous song of great Lata ji,,,,(baiyan na dharo balma) But in most of the cases the musician are not to take a lot of murkis because it may mess with the correct form of the raag. The next is called Andolan, which a slow isolation of notes it is used to give serious touch in raag or melody. For example Bollywood song sung by Mandey (poocho na kaisay main ne raain betai). A beautiful composition and perfect example of andolan. The last but not the least is called Gamak, which is very very important for Indian classical music. It is giving shadow to the notes or giving emphasis to the notes to make an effect. Karnatak music gives a lot of importance to the Gamak. It is kind of shaky emphasis to the notes. But point is to be noted that all forms of alankar that have been mentioned above are taken according to the situation, like in our daily life we use ornaments (heavy or light) according to the events that are going to take place. I hope this article must be useful for most of the music lovers.

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In Indian music you will find that there are very few performers on stage rather few musicians are on stage with the singer who participate in one concert.. Most of the time there is one main artist and three or four accompanying musicians, this is because Indian music believes in melody, one tune at a time.. This melody is sung or performed by the main artist and the accompanying musicians just follow the main artist, this is customary in Indian music.. The main artist has all the liberty to improvise the melody as he wishes but following the raag that he is performing-


Now we will discuss and see the difference in Western Concert settings. In western music , there is a grand setting of musicians and it is like a very big orchestra, this is because the western music believes in harmony. Just one singer can’t perform harmony therefore they have to have many singers, who can perform harmony along-with the main artist. similarly they need to have many instruments to play different harmonies. So we can say there is not one specific artist in the performance. There are all artists who are participating and working like a team, so this is a team effort rather than the sole effort as in Indian concerts. Everybody has his own melody line to contribute in the harmony. Well this certainly doesn’t mean that there are no solo performances, when it comes to western classical music. The main artist follows the melody but the accompanying artists provide consonent to create a harmony. That’s why all the composition or the music is in written form and this leaves very little improvisation in western classical music. Till now we have discussed the tune aspects of Indian and western music. Now lets discuss how rhythm is interpreted in Indian music and how it is interpreted in western music. In Indian music the Rhythm (lai) is interpreted in the form of Taal, Taal is a rhythmic cycle, so in Indian music there are different numbers of rhythmic cycles , like 6 beats, 8 beats, 7 beats, 12 beats , 14 beats, 16 beats etc. in western music the rhythm is interpreted as time signature on the staff sheet, so this is a linear concept than a cyclical concept. So what you have is bars and beats in those bars. Very common time signature is 2 is to 4, which means there are two beats in each bar. then it is 4 by 4 which means there are 4 beats in one bar. so counting is like 1,2,3,4 etc then you have 3 is to 4, which means there are 3 beats in one bar.

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Well there has been a lot of talk about the major difference in Indian and Western music. The people who are music lovers have asked this question over and over again. So today we will discuss about this very burning topic of main differences between the two types of music i.e Indian and western. The basic difference between these two types of music is Melody vs Harmony.

We must keep this fact in mind that Indian music is based on the concept of melody. Now what is the melody? well melody is a tune where one note follows the other so it becomes a kind of structure, to some of the people it might sound very complicated but believe me its very simple, if you hum a tune, play a tune or sing a tune its all called melody. so basically raag is a melody, so we can say Indian music is certainly based on melody but with western music its a little bit different.

Just as you have the concept of melody in Indian music, there is a concept of harmony in western music, Now what exactly is the difference between melody and harmony. Well melody is just one individual tune where harmony is layering of two or more tunes which will go hand in hand with each other that is they sound very good when they are played together or sung together for example is the first tune is taken from C major note, the second tune is taken from E note while the third tune is taken from the G note. So when all these tunes are played together they would create harmony and it sounds great and very pleasing to the ears. So if you are a music lover and want to visualize the concept of melody and a food lover too, then lets take it this way, melody is just like a simple burger, where as the harmony is just like having a burger which has multiple layers of cheese, salad and chicken or beef etc. So naturally you would prefer to go for the one which has more layers to enjoy the food rather than taking the simple bun. I hope you have understood the difference between the melody and harmony. How they make Indian music sound different from western music.

Next lets move on to understand the vocal techniques used in two different forms of music. In Indian music the singer is supposed to sing in a very full throat-ed manner. Apart from this the singer is expected to sing in three octaves that is lower, middle and high octaves. He needs to be very fluent in all the three octaves. He should be able to sing in the range from the G of lower Octave to F or G note of the high or the 3rd octave. Technically speaking the singer is not allowed to use the false voice (which is not full throat-ed), specially in Indian classical music it is forbidden. The point is to be noted that false voice is mostly used in the 3rd or the high octave where the singer may find it difficult to cope with the high notes. It feels like a hollow kind of a voice which is strictly forbidden in Indian classical music. In western music there is a believe that each person has got a specific kind of voice. which means they have particular range where they are comfortable in singing. Some people have low pitched voice and some people have high pitched voice, so accordingly they have a specific territory in which they operate comfortably. They do not need to move all along the three octaves and hit the highest pitched notes or the lowest pitched notes. So there are four kinds of voice which are commonly known as Bass, Tener, Alto and superano. Generally Bass and Tener are the male voices, Alto and superano are female voices. In western music a lot of false voice or seto is used. In Indian music the note is applied plainly whereas in western music the ending note is usually used a vibrato , it is wavy vibration given to the note as u sustain it.

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indian classical music thaats

Well The Indian classical music is all based on 10 Thatts, that play vital role in learning and knowing the classical indian music. This is the basic knowledge that each one has to know if he or she is interested in indian music. This is important to know that every hindi song that we listen in the form of film playback songs, ghazals, folk songs etc have their roots from the Thatts because they are based on raags and raags belong to thatt (one of the 10 Thatts). So if the person has knowledge about the thatts he can easily find out, in what raag the particular song has been composed. Now-a-days the Indian Classical music has become popular all around the world and many foreigners come to India and Pakistan to learn Indian music. So in this Article we will discuss about 10 Thatts, their formation and other related information. Thatt is in fact a combination of seven notes. The combination of black and white notes, they differ in each thatt. The very first thatt is known as Bilawal Thatt, It has all the white notes. The second thatt is known as kamaj thatt, The third Thatt is Kafi, the fourth Thatt is Asavari, the fifth thatt is Bhairvain, the sixth Thatt is Bharon, the seventh thatt is Kalyan, the eighth Thatt is Marwa, the ninth Thatt is Poorvi while the last and the tenth thatt is todi. The description of thatts is given as under:

To understand The Music Theory Properly, it’s mandatory to pay close attention to the thaats

Bilawal Thatt

All the seven notes of this Thatt are white which means: C D E F G A B (all white notes)

Khamaj Thatt

The seven notes of 2nd Thatt, which is Khamaj are: C D E F G A B(Flat) ( only one note that is B Flat is black in this Thatt)

Kafi Thatt

The seven notes of 3rd Thatt are C D E(Flat) F G A B(Flat) which means there are two black notes in Kafi Thatt and they are E (Flat) and B (Flat)

Asavari Thatt

The seven notes of 4th Thatt are C D E(Flat) F G A(Flat) B(Flat) this means there are three black notes i.e E (flat) A(flat) and B (flat)

Bharvi Thatt

The seven notes of Bharvi Thatt are C D(Flat) E(Flat) F G A(Flat) B(Flat), so there are four black notes in Barvi Thatt i.e D(flat), E(flat), A(flat) and B(Flat)

Bharav Thatt

The seven note of Bharav thatt are C D(Flat) E F G A(flat) B, so there are only two black notes in this Thatt and they are D(flat) and A(flat)

Kalyan Thatt

The notes for the Kalyan Thatt are C D E F(sharp) G A B, this means there is only one black key and that is F sharp

Purvi Thatt

The seven notes of purvi thatt are C D(flat) E F(sharp) G A(flat) B

Todi Thatt

the notes for Todi Thatt are C D(flat) E(flat) F(sharp) G A(flat) B(flat)

The music of India sounds quite exotic to the European audience. Two major reasons for this are the differences between the two traditions in tuning and scales.
We can also say that even the singing styles are entirely different. Even the traditional instruments used in Indian music make it so different from the western instruments. The Indian music is mostly based on melodies that are not dominated by the hard beats of Drums and Guitars (as in western music). Furthermore the western music depends lot on harmonies, 2nd and 3rd harmonies whereas in Indian music stress is given only to the melody of the song, but in recent times, some composers are turning towards the harmonies too. No doubt they should do experiments to give new innovative flavors to the songs to make it different from the primitive singing styles.

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What Is Western Music Theory?

What Is Western Music Theory?

It is not so easy to simplify music theory in a single definition, due to the music’s evolved state itself. But we know exactly what ‘music’ is being talked about here. It is the music that has accompanied the growth and development of human race on the entire earth; so that you could expect that there is such a long history entailing the conception of what music theory is.
Yet, we could still get a hold on a perspective viewing music theory as a set of principles or basic values that must be on a music. It wraps up pitch, rhythm, form, harmony and even silence. Those elements would always be present on every music composition. It is even like a natural concept flowing through the process of making music.

Music Theory’s History

A long history of human race has proven that music is not a trend. Music-making is an ancestral behavior, as shown by so many prehistoric artifacts which are considered to be our ancestors’ musical instruments. And since that time, music theory had actually been developed.

As humans mobilized, their culture on music-making had also been developed. Western community should have got their own story regarding to how they contemplate music theory of themselves. A writing from Boethius called De institutione was claimed to be the first treatise explaining about how music positioned itself at that time, alongside its composition pattern.
That marks the Western’s contribution to the whole music history, which has finally got the power to be among the most admired music around the world.

Western Music’s Intervals

Well, how do you define Western music? Is it music made originally by Western musicians? Or is it the music produced in Western countries? And even, who are Western people or what are Western countries? It is quite hazy to describe this Western music as one musical concept. Yet, let us rely on the most typical assumption.
If you are wondering about how Western music theory states itself out, then we can see it by analyzing the music’s intervals. Interval, which is the tonal gap between two notes, can be as small as a half step in Western music. That half step is also called minor second. This term, minor second, is one among the twelve notes ended with octave on the 12 half steps.
These interval theory can be a bit confusing and difficult to understand, unless you have been pretty pro on the field.

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Indian Music Theory:

Indian music is more than just the Bollywood movies sounds that have become so famous in the last 10 or 20 years and it is more than the uncomfortable stabs that many UK rock musicians made at it in the 1960. Indian music is a tradition that interlocks with Indian history and culture. It is a vibrant and rich medium and remains even in 2016 largely outside the keen of the typical latest westerner. Across the dominant centuries it has evolved into a complex system based on melody and rhythm.
Melody is perhaps the most important part of Indian music. A system of sweet ideas known as Raga drives melodic compositions. Each Raga can be thought of as a character with its own personality.
The raga became an integration part of spiritual practice and Indian culture. There were set of rags that were to be played at different times of the day and also unique ones for ceremonies. Further, they were generally used in prayer and meditation, sometime as chant. A lot of the time these scales were sun vocally, but they are played on a range of instruments as well.

The Octave comprises 22 equal divisions known as Sruti. These may be gathered and re-grouped into 12 Swara which may be similar in the ways they move to the 12 semitones of European scales. Like those of European scales too, 7 are regarded as being primary while the other 5 the “sharps” and “flats” of the 7 primary Swaras. The 7 primary Swara are illustrated in Hindi script.
In the 1800, Chaturpandit Vishnu Narayan managed to make system called as the “That” to classify all the ragas. Unluckily, as useful as this system was, it still failed to account for many of the ragas. It is anyway the initial system in use today. There are also 2 other ways to classify rags.
In South India, the word for musical scale is mela. The Southern and Northern Indian music largely differs from each other in sound and in tools but may share the same scales. The application of these scales in terms of Indian music in common goes beyond this scope of this site but if you want to incorporate some of the wonderful sounds of these scales into your music then that is probably the remarkable usage for them.
Indian music is like Western music in many ways and extremely unlike it in many others. If you don’t have a background in music or need a refresher on Indian music theory, there are several best classics to ground you in music appreciation and music theory.

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Music Theory on American Folk

The Music Theory Explained in simple words

Music Theory on American Folk

Music Theory on American Folk

Have you heard about this term, “music theory”? Well, it is common to find someone with some sort of face showing an expression like “what?”, whenever this question is offered. But, that is truly fine, particularly for those who are just music listeners. Not everyone gets to the specific theories or rules of how to make certain music.
However, this time, we are going to grab the simplest idea of this term. If you have ever wonder of how a song could really touch your heart and mind because of its rhythm, then you can see a little trace of the songwriter’s brilliance in keeping up with music theory while making the song.

Music theory

is essential for music makers.
They may claim their not understanding of the theories, but it does not mean that they do not apply them to their songs.
Have you caught what is being explained? Do not expect much by understanding every bit of music theory when you just want to enjoy listening to music. Even, music is meant to be enjoyed, at the very first place.
Now that you get it clearer, then you may be interested in seeing if every genre in music has different music theory. Pop, rock, and jazz are among them. Then, what about folk music? You must have ever heard about this music. Folk’s being able to be called as a genre is debatable among music listeners, but whatever it is, folk music is remarkable.
american folk music theory

What we know so far, folk music is territorial. Every place has its own folk music and so does American. The country’s kind of folk is much represented by its simple chord progressions and simple time signatures. Besides, you may also be able to hear natural keys such as C, S, E, G and A within American’s folk songs.
There is also some other simplicity reflected from American folk music. The songs are mostly written in simple scales, for instance, pentatonic minor, pentatonic major, melodic minor, mixolydian and major.
In a number of that folk music, you can probably hear a lot of acoustic instruments used to play the song. You can imagine how catchy it feels in your ears. For example, while playing out their guitars, they would prefer to use several techniques such as fingerpicking, “boom chuck” strumming and carter-style strumming.
However, some of us might not really care about those features, for as long as we enjoy the music, then folk, pop, rock, jazz, classic and others would be felt significant in our mind.

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A brief overview of the music theory

A brief overview of the music theory

Great Greek philosopher and mathematician Plato once said, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
Music theory is the study of the theoretical elements of music. Music involves sound, pitch, melody, rhythm, notation and harmony. Music theory is the study of these elements of music. It is an act of contemplation of music.

Here is a brief overview of some elements of music:


Pitch is a subjective sensation. It is the level of a tone. The higher the frequency of vibration, the higher the pitch. Likewise the lower the frequency of vibration, the lower the pitch. The difference in frequency between two pitches is known as interval.


Rhythm is a strong, regular, repeated pattern of sound. It is created by the sequential arrangement of sounds and silences. Meter measures music in regular pulse groupings. Playing simultaneous rhythms in more than one time signature is called polymeter.


Melody is a prominent aspect in music. It is a rhythmically organized sequence of single tones so related to one another as to make up a particular phrase. Pitch, rhythm, duration and tempo are the basic elements of melody.


A chord is a group of notes (three or more) sounded together, as a basis of harmony. Chords are mostly used in popular music. Chord structure provides strength to the melody.


Also known as tone color, timbre is the principal phenomenon that enables you to distinguish one musical instrument from another when both play at the same volume and pitch. It is determined by the envelop of the sound and the relative balance of overtones produced by a given instrument due to its construction.


Texture is one of the basic elements of music. It is the way the rhythmic, melodic and harmonic materials are combined in a composition. It is the overall sound of a composition.


In music theory, harmony is the study of vertical sonorities in music. Harmony is analyzed through a Roman numeral system. Roman numerals are used to identify chords based on their scalar roots. In Western music of the Common Practice Era, harmonies are generally tertian.


Musical notation is the symbolic representation of music. There are many systems of music notation.
Music is a very interesting subject. Many great personalities like Aristotle, Shoenberg and Rameau were music theorists.