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Do not stop experimenting – A case study

Har kisiko nahi milta sargam


There are two versions of a song called “Har kisiko nahi milta, yaha pyar zindagi me“.  One from a movie called “Jaabaaz” (1980) and other from a movie called “Boss” (2013).  This is one of my favourite songs, and the only song till now which I love to hear in both the versions.  The basic tune of this song, in both the versions, remains same.

When I produced Sargam for this song (2013 version), I took the first note on my G scale flute, as “Sa” and went on to develop the entire Sargam for this song.  It took me about one and a half hour!

Do lafz ki hai baat ek hi hai
S | RS | G | (R)G | G | RS | S | (.P)D


Next day when I heard the song again, I found that I missed the famous interlude or the signature tune of this song (listen to it at 1:22 timeline of the above video) . Now, going by the Sargam which I produced (taking “Sa” as first note), I started playing the Sargam for this interlude, with “Pa” as the first note.

The Sargam which I had produced earlier for the antara in the song was like:

Pyar na ho to zindagi kya hai
GM | P | P | P | SSP(D’) | P | P

But, however hard I might try I was unable to come back to the correct note for the start of the above “antra” immediately after playing the interlude piece.  I realised that something has gone wrong.  Because the beauty of Indian music lies in the fact that an entire song is weaved perfectly around notes which supplement and complement each other, generally, without a change in the scale.


I was getting frustrated, because with these notes I had to change the scale from its interlude tune, which was not sounding good. I tried different things on my flute for about half an hour trying to find out the missing link.  I took a break for sometime before I resumed my effort in placing that interlude into the rest of the song’s notations. And, then I thought why not play this tune at one note above.  I knew that if I did so, I had to start from the scratch and that might take me another hour or so.  But, being a finicky person when it comes to correct notes, I began re-writing the notations for this song. So, this time instead of starting this song from its first line, I took the interlude to begin with and that too at one note above, i.e., “Dha” instead of “Pa”.  The notations for the interlude, thus, came out as:

DSRg | RS | RgM
DSRg | RS | RSnD
DSRg | RS | RgM
DSRg | R

And, that was it.  After this interlude piece, when I played “Do Lafz ki hai…” taking “Re” instead of “Sa” as first note, the entire song sounded even better on the flute.  The new Sargam, came out like this.


Producing Sargam/Notations of a song or tune is difficult, sometimes.  But it is not impossible, if you have patience and a good ear to hear the correct tone, pitch, beat and note.  Sometimes, you may have to experiment with one or even a half note below or above the one that you are already playing, to get that ‘perfect’ sound.  This particular song has taught me this lesson.  And, I hope this will be informative for you also.

Please do drop a line of what you think about this experience.

Thank you!

10 Responses

  1. Very true. I’ve experienced that while setting up sargam on my own. When i fails to set up some song.. i keep on changing the scale.. and could find some missing notes. Thanks for sharing the experience

  2. It was really helpful and very clear. It also explained how the perfect ear for music play a role in developing even a small piece of music. Playing an instrument takes much more than singing and is an art which one could excel only with concentration and efforts.Thanks Sir.

  3. Very Nice Sir. I am also trying to learn keyboard and your exposure/experience is a GOOD STEP TOWARDS LEARNING

    1. Dear Tarun Soni ji, I think whether it is a flute or a harmonium, or any other instrument, the basic theory remains the same while producing notes.

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How to read SARGAM notations

  • CAPITAL LETTERS = Shuddh Swars (Pure Notes)
  • small letters = Komal Swars (Flat Notes)
  • A Note with # [hash] = Tivra Swar 
  • Letter/Alphabet ONLY = Medium Pitch/Normal blow on flute
  • Letter/Alphabet PRECEDED BY a ” . ” [full stop] or  a ” , ” [comma] = Low Pitch/Softer blow on flute
  • Letter/Alphabet FOLLOWED BY a ‘ [single quote] = High Pitch/harder blow on flute
  • Notes in { } = “murki” or “khatka” which have to be played very fast without any pause
  • A Note in ( ) = “kann swar” has to be just touched before moving on to the next note
  • A “~” between two Notes = “Meend”. That is, you have to glide from one note to another slowly to produce that wavy effect.
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