Origin of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa……!!!


Origin of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa……!!!


While there have been different approaches that explains the origin of Music(Sangeet) in indian history, few going by the mythology, few by the psychoanalytic approach of Sigmund Freud and James Long,  and much more written in epics as well.

But since there have been conflicts about declaring that one fact, all the stems have been accepted and not just one is universally declared to be the sole fact for the origin of music in India.

While I just came across one of my old book of theory of Music called Sangeet Visharad – by Vasant , I came across this amazing fact, that again becomes a part of those varied explanations for the Origin of Music.  And since its really really interesting,I thought of sharing it with you all.

  • While all of you must be very well versed with the names of seven notes(swara by indian terminology), the basic key elements of Indian Classical Music, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa( I shall write the full names of these notes below), You will find it amazing to read one of those explanations that says, how these were found!
  • The Writer of “Sangeet Darpan” – Shri Damodar Pandit had an opinion, that Music was originated by Brahma, who created Vedas in India. He emphasized on “Margi Sangeet”, saying that, Bharat Muni experimented this form of Music in front of Lord Shiva(Mahadev),and that Margi Sangeet  frees one’s soul.
  • According to this analysis, many have supported this, as this was even discussed in other approaches as well, that discussed the origin of Music.  Taking this explanation further,  Shri Pandit, explained the origin of seven notes of Indian musical scale, from the animal kingdom. And believe me you will be surprised to read where they originated from.


Swar          Full Name                            Origin

Sa            Shadaj                                   Bird Peacock

Re           Rishabh                                Chatak (Indian name)Bird, Jacobin Cuckoo

Ga           Gandhar                               Animal Goat

Ma          Madhyam                            Bird Crow

Pa           Pancham                              koel (Indian name) Bird , again one of the

Asian cuckoos(cuculiformes)

Dha        Dhaivat                                Mendhak (Indian Name) Animal, Frog

Ni           Nishad                                   Hathi (Indian name)Animal, Elephant


So next time you see these animals, remember which Indian notes they produced!!! Interesting! One of those Amazing Facts that explains the origin of Indian Classical Music.  For further more information on this, there is loads of information on Google uploaded from the scriptures as well as the epics written on Origin Of Indian Classical Music.

SEVEN notes are same- but indian music reads SaReGa while western reads C D E -then where is the difference?

Indian Classical Music
Indian Classical Music

My last blog brought me to communicate with people all around the world on Linkedin specially, where the conductors expressed how they loved their own instrument and what made them stop by as they were touched to core. I wanted to share a jist of what i loved the most from what they shared and am sure most of you would love to know too.

  • All instruments are unique and they touch every one at different emotional levels.
  • Though an instument possess a beauty of its own, Its the skill of the person who plays the instrument or a singer ( coz even vocals are human instruments)  and what music he plays that pours the soul in to it.-Stephen Martorella
  • Being a composer all would love all of their instruments. Making a choice as to which is #1 would be like choosing who is your most favorite child of yours, or, your most favorite finger on your 2 hands. -Lauria Maria

So to Conclude:

As a musician , i might say, ” It is that one particular instrument i play,( for eg a guitar for a guitarist)  that is my favourite or another that would touch my soul”, but as a composer, arranger, conductor we land up on a wide horizon, where every instrument speaks for itself, stands for its unique sonal quality, emotionally touch us on different levels. And as a composer or a music producer, its really difficult to zero down on a choice to one music instrument in this approach approach conflict.

For today as i was wondering what i will write, coz nothing in peculiar inspired me to write todays blog, i knew this was coming one day in future while i will write.

INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC AND WESTERN MUSIC-Indian classical music simplified

I came across this very beautiful link and i would love to share it to all of you who are pursuing either of the music form,Indian classical music  and western classical music. It is specially for those who are in to Western music and want to know what indian music is all about. While we have seven notes all around the world, eight yet to be discovered, All seven notes when sung are interpreted in different languages like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa in Indian Classical Music while C D E F G A B in western music.

Why is that so, that inspite of the same notes all around the world we use, music sounds different. Its interesting as i watched this video. Beautifully explained in nutshell. Its a must watch for all those who are intrigued by Indian Classical Music.

While i have completed my graduation in Indian classical music, (sangeet visharat), western music always intrigued me coz of the theory of harmony. While Indian classical music is a lot about melodies, ornamentation, which we find in light classical too like gazals and sugam sangeet, Western music has a unique aspect that we dont find in Indian classical music and that is the harmony and the chords. When we make music, we intend to fill up gaps in Indian classical music, it heavily relies on melodies. ON the other side, western music has harmonies. This is what makes Western Music set apart , very unique. While i was upgrading my knowledge on Western Music, from the Indian classical i understood, it was that “harmony” part which was always making me curious. Something that is really really beautiful about Western Music that is not in our Indian Classical Music is the Theory of Harmony.

Indian music is completely about creativity and composing if you see what theory they teach. The Bandish, the Alap tanas, and the Khayal is all about creating melodies within one avartan – the given measure. The only difference i found was about the theory of Harmony, which does not exist in our Indian music. And so our indian classical music has more ornamentation, else it would become monotonous since we wont have harmony.

Otherwise, its just a different language where basics remain the same. All seven notes remain the same. Formations will stay the same but the way to express each formation will vary along with modulations and this will make both music very very different from each other. Am sure you are here coz you want to know more about Indian classical music. So follow the link below to see the video. It wont disappoint you for sure.

Do share your say on this.  What do you like the most about Indian Classical Music. What do you think will differentiate the Indian classical Music from the Western Music. What do you like the most about the Western Music.

And last but not the least, Music is universal. It is truly Sa Re Ga on one hand while the same being read as C D E on the other!!!

Inspite of the differences,Music is more about expressions of emotions , than mere knowing the particular art form.  Seven Notes shall stay the same all around the world.

For those who are really curious about indian classical music here is the link by Dhanashree Pandit Rai video