The SwarShala Indian music software includes Sargam and over 80 other perfectly sampled virtual Indian instruments.

About Sargam:

Sargam is a contraction of “Sa Re Ga Ma”, the first 4 notes in the Indian scale. It refers to the singing of these notes to either perform a composition or transmit it to a student.

Sargam is the Indian equivalent to solfège. The main difference is that where Do is absolute in its frequency, Sa, the base note of Indian scales can be set to any frequency. All other notes will then adjust relatively to that frequency.

Sa is the short form of "shadja." It comes from the Sanskrit contraction "sad + aja”, where "shad" signifies "six" and "aja" signifies the maker. Therefore Shadja is viewed as the one from which the other six notes arise.

Sargam is used extensively in performing classical vocal music, both in the slow part or Aalap as in the faster part in the form of tanas (quick bursts of notes).

Brihaddeshi, an ancient text credited to Matanga Muni is one of the first treaties mentioning the Sargam notes and the Raga system. It was written around the 6th - 8th century AD.


  • Sa is derived from Shadja, which means 'giving birth to six’
  • Re is derived from Rishabha, which means 'Great One'
  • Ga is derived from Gandhar, which means 'sweet fragrance'
  • Ma is derived from Madhyama, which means 'being in the middle'
  • Pa is derived from Panchama, which means 'the fifth note'
  • Dha is derived from Dhaivata, which means 'sixth note/divine'
  • Ni is derived from Nishad, which means 'seventh note' or ‘mysterious/mystical’

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