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Article: Harmonium Lesson 5: More Scales & Finger Numbers

 
By Haresh Bakshi
 
  As mentioned in earlier lessons, we have assumed the first white key to be the Sa (S), for convenience and convention, simplicity and uniformity.

"The first white key" explained: You will find that there are sets of 5 black keys on the keyboard. Each set of those 5 black keys is made up of 2 + 3 black keys. The first white key is that white key which lies immediately to the left of the first black key. Since there are several sets of 5 black keys, there will also be several "first white" keys. You may select the first white key lying in the middle of the keyboard.

You are going to use only your right hand to play the harmonium. The right hand fingers are numbered as follows:

The thumb is numbered 1
The index finger is 2
The middle finger is 3
The ring finger is 4
The little finger is 5.

In Lesson 4, we have dealt with our first scale: Bilawal. The scale is called "thaat" in Indian music.

In this lesson, we will take up two more scales (thaat-s), called Khamaj and Kafi respectively.

First, Khamaj thaat. It differs from the Bilawal thaat in only one respect: Khamaj has 'komala' Ni (flat Ni), which is represented by the small letter "n". Which fingers play which notes of the Khamaj thaat? The arrangement is:- [The finger numbers under the notes of the scale]

S  R  G  m  P  D  n  S' [Ascending] 
1  2  3  1  2  3  4  5  [Finger numbers] 

S' n  D  P  m  G  R  S  [Descending] 
5  4  3  2  1  3  2  1  [Finger numbers] 
So, in Khamaj thaat, the fourth finger (the RING finger) will play the Fifth black key (instead of the 7th white key).

Second, Kafi thaat. It differs from the Bilawal thaat in that Kafi has 'komala' Ni (flat Ni), which is represented by the small letter "n"; and it has 'komala' Ga (flat Ga), which is represented by the small lettr "g". Which fingers play which notes of the Khamaj thaat? The arrangement is:- [The finger numbers under the notes of the scale]

S  R  g  m  P  D  n  S' [Ascending] 
1  2  3  1  2  3  4  5  [Finger numbers] 

S' n  D  P  m  g  R  S  [Descending] 
5  4  3  2  1  3  2  1  [Finger numbers] 
So, in Kafi thaat, the fourth finger (the RING finger) will play the Fifth black key (instead of the 7th white key); and the third finger (the MIDDLE finger) will play the 2nd black key (instead of the third white key).

[continued to Lesson 6]

 

 

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