The bansuri with its pastoral associations and as the chosen instrument of Lord Krishna, is one of the oldest musical instruments of India. It is mentioned in the Vedas and is depicted in the Buddhist art of 2,000 years ago. One Sanskrit verse credits the bansuri as the source of Swara Gnana - the wisdom of music.
Lord Krishna and Radha Devi
This chart shows the diatonic fingerings for the bansuri. This is for the Kalyan 'That' (parent scale), which corresponds to the Lydian mode in European music. (A major scale with the fourth degree raised by a half-step).
Sa (Do) is played with the first three finger holes closed.
Shuddh (lit.= pure) Ma (the unraised fourth degree) and all other flattened notes (Komal Re, Komal Ga, Komal Dha and Komal Ni) are played by uncovering the necessary portion of the adjacent lower finger hole.
On a bansuri with seven finger holes Tivra Ma ( ) in the middle and upper octave can be fingered with all the finger holes closed or with all the finger holes open. When using the all-holes-closed Tivra Ma in the middle and higher octaves, the first finger hole is uncovered, or partially uncovered to produce the correct intonation, depending on the behavior of the particular instrument.
The names of the notes in the Sargam system of Indian music corresponds to the European Solfege system. Here is a chart which shows the names of the degrees of the Bilawal 'That' (parent scale) in Sargam and the corresponding names of the degrees of the major scale in Solfege:
A line below the note lowers the note by a half-step. This is known as a Komal swar: Re, Ga, Dha, Ni.
A vertical line above the note raises the note by a half-step:. This is known as Tivra Ma: .
A dot below the note means the note is in the register below middle Sa: etc.
A dot above the note means the note is in the register above middle Sa: etc.
|1. Sadhjya||abbreviated as||Sa||corresponds to||Do|
|2. Reshab||abbreviated as||Re||corresponds to||Re|
|3. Gandhar||abbreviated as||Ga||corresponds to||Mi|
|4. Madhyam||abbreviated as||Ma||corresponds to||Fa|
|5. Pancham||abbreviated as||Pa||corresponds to||So|
|6. Dhaivat||abbreviated as||Dha||corresponds to||La|
|7. Nishad||abbreviated as||Ni||corresponds to||Ti|
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