In a keyboard the
instrument sound you choose is called a voice. Before you play a
song, choose a voice that you like. Practice selecting different
voices, and remember the setting for the ones you prefer. Look your
keyboard owner's manual to help you. When you play the songs you can
use any sound you wish. The rhythm controls provide drum beats
to play along with. These rhythm beats are also called styles. The
drum rhythms or kits can be changed to suit the kind of song. If you
have a keyboard equipped with floppy drive or flash usb media
then you may copy rhythm styles in your keyboard which can be played
using user style button.
Melody keys are used to play the tune by right hand. The chord keys
are used to play along with the melody with your left hand. Chords
make the song sound full and harmonic. If you do not know how to
play chords then you may use auto chord accompaniment.
Learning Keyboard in Desi Style
The article here
is to teach you keyboard in Desi Style and in the end you will be
able to play Indian and Pakistani raga based film songs. Harmonium,
keyboard and synthesizer keyboard are taken to mean the same thing,
and are called simply the "keyboard". The notations are used
to describe the keys on the keyboard: In our lessons for
convenience, the reference note, called the tonic or the Sa, is
assumed to be the first black
key, indicated by the letter "S". If
you want to sing-along music then you may assign any key as "Sa",
according to your voice scale.
In this article the fingering system of keyboard and harmonium is
kept same so, that we will be able to play both instruments. Most
people who play harmonium find keyboard difficult due to different
finger assignments. Some musicians use first white key as starting
or reference note (Sa) but we will use first black key as our
starting reference note for quick learning..
Keyboard And Computer Music
Music can be defined as collection of small pieces of regular sound
played at predefined time interval. It is the small water droplets that make the ocean, likewise
music is also an ocean that is made up of small parts,
it is called a “note”. An ingenious collection of these notes
played over a period of time results in a melody which could be a
Mehdi Hassan or A . Rahman song. Hence both
western and Indian music has a set of basic notes from which they
grow, something like alphabets.
There is new concept evolving called “computer music”
where a musician explores beyond the basic notes
that are defined in music. In cubase it is
possible to explore beyond basics. Today almost all the
keyboards are computerized and produce MIDI music. MIDI means
musical instruments digital interface. Midi music is
editable in computer or in MIDI keyboards and midi music can be produced with 16
individual tracks of different instruments.
Let us see more on Notes. “Notes” what are
they? Note can be
technically explained as a sound frequency. Actually the sound that
is produced when you press a key on musical keyboard is called as
“NOTE”. It does
not matter if you press the white key or the black key.
Each key plays a predefined frequency. A frequency is number of
cycles per second. The note gets its shape by the amount of time you
hold down the key and release it.
This is called the note length or duration.
Hence to make a “tune” or a “melody” or “song” you should play a bunch of these notes at proper duration and
Western Music Notes Verses Indian
Indian classical music has 7 basic notes (Sa Re
Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni), with five interspersed half-notes, resulting
in a 12-note scale. Unlike the 12-note scale in Western music,
the base frequency of the scale is not fixed, and inter-tonal
gaps may also vary.
Before we can learn how to play scales chords
and various progressions it is vital that we learn
the notes on keyboard or harmonium and how
they relate to each other. The best way
to describe the notes on the keyboard is by comparing
them to the notes of the alphabets. The first seven notes of the
keyboard are ( A - B - C - D -E - F - G ). Each note differ with
each other in sound.
Notice that the seven notes of keyboard
repeat themselves over and over again. The notes sounds the same
but the pitch differs. For example if you play C and move to
the right until you find the next C,
you will notice that if you play them
simultaneously, both notes sounds the same but one is higher
than the other. It is a well-known fact that Indian music is
based on melody and Western Music on Harmony. This does not mean
that Western Music does not include melody. In western music,
the harmonizing effect of different instruments and voices given
to a certain melody plays the important role. In a similar
manner in Indian music the melody has an upper hand. Usually, it
is said and believed that harmony doesn’t play a role in Indian
music. But, to my way of understanding, harmony is equally
important in Indian classical music performance though, not the
way it is used in western music. In Indian music the
harmony effect is a steady continuous drone effect created
usually by a ‘Taanpura’.
Middle C marks the center of the keyboard. As you will notice the
C major is the easiest and simplest scale of the twelve. It
consists all the white keys from any starting
C to the next octave C.
standard semi professional music keyboard has
48 keys. You
will see 4 sets of 12 keys.
This 12 set of notes is technically called an
octave. Why 12, why not 13?, Good question. The
aim of this article is to keep it simple; Western
is based on logarithmic division. You can
start playing Indian or Pakistani song from any
note and starting note will always become our
reference note or Sa. Remaining notes will be arranged
according to thaat or scale of the song. It is more easy to start our
Hindi scale or thaat from first black key. In western
music also, fifth note from C is as 5th .
In Indian music “Sa” note is based on your reference note
or the key you selected for starting point as Sa. We can further
go in deep by playing song in raga of that particular thaat.
In the western music system the “C note” itself does not
change and “scales”
denotes the pitch changes. Western music system has an
“absolute” naming for the keys whereas in Indian the
notation is “relative. Desi music have combined both. In
the seven tone-scale the second, third, fourth,
sixth, and seventh notes can be sharp or
flat, making up the twelve notes in the Western scale.
However, ragas can specify microtonal changes to this scale: a
flatter second, a sharper seventh, and so forth. Furthermore,
such variations can occur between styles, performers or simply
follow the mood of the performer. In Indian music there is no absolute pitch;
instead, each performance simply picks a ground note, and the
other scale degrees follow relative to the ground note.
Note: “Sa” does not “map” always onto “C”.
It could start
at F and still form a S R G M P D N scale in which case the
corresponding western notes also change. Presently you may
relate the “Sa” of Indian to “C” of Western which is
fortunately identical to each other .
A scale is a set of 7 notes in a proper order and intervals.
Just remember this, a scale is set of 7 notes with predefined
intervals. The distance between each note is called as interval.
It is true that
scales and ragas are not same. You will learn about ragas in
raga section of our book. Apart from
having seven different notes, there are not many similarities.
There is a huge difference between a scale and raga in tonal
quality or the sound density.
Raga has many dimensions to it. First,
it has an emotional overtone.
Just simply going over Sa to Sa can be called as a major
scale or Cmaj. Though the notes and intervals are just the same.
A raga can have 4 or more notes with intervals. This kind of
reduction of notes in a scale is called as modes in western
classical music. Experts believe proper training is required to
play ragas fluently. This comes by good practice and
understanding of note usage. A western trained first-rate
musician will be able play a phrase of 1/64 note at a good speed
but will find it difficult to play raga without proper training.
It is the reason that western music is fast. Indian music is
melodic in nature while western music is harmonic in nature.
Chords produce harmony. Now you will be ready to believe that it
is not possible to play Indian songs with only western training. Desi Style music lessons is the mixture of Western & Indian