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Know the Basics of Hindustani Classical Music to Easily Become Best Singer

Do you want to become a professional singer in Bollywood? Do you desire to entertain your target audience with your voice? Well! Improving the vocal range is the key.

Mastering Hindustani classical music in India can be overwhelming. It will take some to practically learn the basics. Once you have perfectly learned Indian classical, you can sing any song of your choice with finest voice quality.

You need to understand the basic concept of Hindustani classicals like Taals, and Ragas. To make your learning easy, we listed the concepts of Hindustani classical music in the article. So, scroll down for more. 

Understanding the Basics of Hindustani Classical Music

Hindustani Classical Music is a rich and complex musical tradition. It has evolved over centuries in the Indian subcontinent. It is characterized by its intricate melodies, rhythmic patterns, and improvisational nature. 

To appreciate Hindustani Classical Music, it is beneficial to attend live performances. Moreover, study under a qualified teacher if you are interested in playing or singing. Listen to recordings from renowned artists to grasp the depth and beauty of this art form.

Ragas is the foundation of Hindustani Classical Music in Mumbai India. They are melodic frameworks. It consists of specific scales, ascending (Aroha), descending (Avroha) patterns, and ornamentation rules. 

Talas are rhythmic cycles or patterns that go with the music.  Hindustani Classical Music uses a variety of instruments. It includes the sitar, tabla, sarod, flute, and harmonium, among others.  Performances can be vocal (singing) or instrumental.

What is the Basic Concept of Taal in Hindustani Classical Music?

Taal is a fundamental concept in Hindustani classical music. It refers to the rhythmic framework or time cycle. Taal provides structure and rhythm to a musical composition. At MBMA you can learn the best concept of Taal in Hindustani classical music.

Taal is created through a series of beats. It is represented by claps, hand gestures, or syllables. Taal dictates the rhythmic patterns in a piece of music.

Understanding and mastering taal is crucial for both vocalists and instrumentalists in Hindustani classical music. It provides the rhythmic foundation upon which melodies and improvisations are built.

It requires precision, practice, and a deep sense of timing to create engaging and expressive performances.

Patti, Swar, and Saptak in Hindustani Classical Music

In Hindustani Classical Music, “Patti” typically refers to a specific type of ornamentation or embellishment. It is used by vocalists and instrumentalists.

  • Patti adds expression and beauty to their performances. These embellishments involve variations in pitch, speed, and ornamentation of notes. They create intricate patterns and melodic flourishes.
  • Pattis can be used to convey different emotions. Moreover, enhance the aesthetic appeal of a musical composition.
  • They are an essential aspect of the improvisational nature of Hindustani Classical Music. This ornamentation is often employed to showcase the artist’s skill and creativity.

Basics of Raag in Hindustani Classical Music

Hindustani classical music features a wide range of raags. Every raag has its own unique melodic structure, mood, and time of day for performance.

Some well-known raags include:

1. Raag Bhairavi:

It is often performed in the morning, and associated with devotion and love.

2. Raag Yaman:

It is suitable for evenings, and a popular raag with a joyful and romantic character.

3. Raag Todi:

It is performed during the late morning, and has a serious and introspective mood.

4. Raag Darbari Kanada:

It is known for its depth and gravitas, and often played at night.

5. Raag Malkauns:

It is suitable for midnight, and characterized by its haunting and mystical quality.

These are a few examples. You will find hundreds of raags in Hindustani classical music. Each of them offering a unique musical experience.

Alaap, Taan, and Ras in Hindustani Classical Music

In Hindustani Classical Music, “Alaap,” “Taan,” and “Ras” are essential elements. It contributes to the beauty and depth of a musical performance:


Alaap is the initial and most serene part of a classical music performance. It is a slow and improvisational exploration of the raga (Melodic framework).


Taan is a lively and rhythmic aspect of Hindustani Classical Music. It involves rapid and intricate patterns of ascending and descending notes within the framework of a raga. 

These elements work together to create a rich and immersive musical experience in Hindustani Classical Music. Thus, allowing the artist to express both technical prowess and emotional depth.

Thaat and Raag in Hindustani Classical Music

In Hindustani Classical Music, “Thaat” and “Raag” are fundamental concepts.

1. Thaat:

Thaat refers to the basic framework or scale structure in Hindustani Classical Music. It consists of seven different notes, much like the Western musical scale, but with different intervals between them.

2. Raag:

A Raag is a melodic framework or musical composition that goes beyond the basic scale structure of a Thaat. It is a complex and elaborate musical entity.

Thus, incorporating specific rules for ascending (Arohana) and descending (Avarohana) sequences of notes, ornamentations, and characteristic phrases.

In summary, Thaat is the basic scale structure, while Raag is a more intricate and expressive melodic structure. It is used for musical compositions and improvisation in Hindustani Classical Music.

Raag Presentation and Notation System in Hindustani Classical Music

In Hindustani classical music, a Raag is a complex melodic framework used to organize and structure musical compositions. Here is an overview of Raag presentation and notation:

Raag Presentation:

Aroha and Avroha:

Raags are defined by their ascending (Aroha) and descending (Avroha) melodic sequences. Thus, specifying which notes are used and in what order.


Each Raag has a distinctive set of phrases or motifs that capture its essence, known as the “Pakad.”

Vadi and Samvadi:

Raags have primary and secondary notes, called Vadi (dominant) and Samvadi (consonant), respectively.

Time of Day:

Many Raags are associated with specific times of day or seasons, influencing when they are performed.

Notation System:


The seven basic notes in Hindustani music are Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, and Ni. They are equivalent to the Western notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, and B.


Microtonal variations in pitch play a crucial role in Raag performance. These are notated using symbols like ‘komal’ (flat) or ‘Teevra’ (sharp).


The rhythmic aspect is represented using a system of Talas, which are rhythmic cycles. Common Talas include Teental, Ektaal, and Jhaptaal.


Raags are performed with improvisation. Thus, allowing the musician to explore and elaborate on the Raag’s structure within the specified rules.

Musicians often rely on their intuition and years of training to bring out the mood and essence of the Raag.

Oral Tradition:

While there are notations for Hindustani music, most of the learning and transmission of Raags is through oral tradition, with students learning directly from a guru (teacher). 


Raags can be the basis for various musical compositions, including Alap, Bandish, and Taranas, each with its own structure and style.

Emotion and Expression:

Raags are designed to evoke specific emotions and moods, and musicians use them as a means of artistic expression.

Raag vs Thaat in Hindustani Classical Music

In Hindustani classical music, both “Raag” and “Thaat” are important concepts, but they serve different purposes:

1. Raag:

A Raag is the cornerstone of Hindustani classical music. It is a complex melodic framework that defines the mood, emotion, and rules for constructing melodies.

Each Raag has a specific set of ascending (Arohana) and descending (Avrohana) notes, along with characteristic phrases (Pakad), rules for ornamentation (Gamak), and often a time of day or season associated with it.

Raags are the creative and expressive aspect of music. Thus, allowing musicians to improvise and develop their compositions within the defined rules of the Raag.

2. Thaat:

Thaat is a classification system used to group Raags based on their fundamental characteristics.

It provides a structural framework for organizing Raags into ten parent scales, or Thaats. It serves as a reference point for understanding the basic melodic elements of various Raags.

Thaat helps in categorizing and learning Raags by identifying common patterns of notes and intervals. 

Bottom Line

Hindustani Classical Music is a rich and intricate musical tradition from North India.

Remember, Hindustani Classical Music is a complex and nuanced art form that takes years of dedicated practice and study to master. It is deeply rooted in Indian culture and spirituality, making it a captivating and soulful musical tradition.

Join MB music (MBMA) in India to kick-start you’re learning along with the career with the Hindustani classes’ courses in India. MBMA is the first career-driven performing arts academy. So, take a step by visiting the official website: https://mbmusicacademy.org