Matching sa pa sa with shruti

Miscellaneous topics on Carnatic music
Post Reply
vark
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 May 2020, 19:36

#1 Matching sa pa sa with shruti

Post by vark »

I realise this may seem like an amateurish question, but it is something that has been confusing me for a while now.

Most shruti boxes play the shruti in the sa-Pa-Sa or pa-Sa-Sa-sa format. (essentially you'll hear three different pitches: a low pitch, a medium pitch and a high pitch)

Now, as far as I know, we align our reference shadjam or our base shadjam (S) with the highest of the three pitches (which is denoted by Sa with a capital S in textual form) in the shruti box and we proceed to sing Pa (P) and the upper sthayi Sa (S with a dot on the top).

I just want to know if my above understanding of how one should match the reference shadjam or their voice with the shruti is correct.

Because, for me (male) I sing in C shruti and align my reference Sa (S) with the highest of the three pitches.

However, when a woman sings in G shruti, to me it sounds as if she's aligning her reference Sa with the lowest of the three pitches. But my fellow carnatic friends have told me that everyone aligns their refernce shadjam with the highest of the three pitches of the shruti box.

I've also noticed that when women sing the reference Sa in C, it sounds higher than when it is sung in G.

Can someone please correct me if I am wrong? This doubt has been causing a lot of confusion.

Sath
Posts: 13
Joined: 10 Jan 2020, 12:37
x 1

#2 Re: Matching sa pa sa with shruti

Post by Sath »

Typical singing frequencies:
Men: 0-2 kattai (B3-D3 or 123-146Hz)
Women: 4-6 kattai (F3-A3 / 175-220Hz)

This shows that men and women's frequencies are within a single octave. From what I recall, shruthi box ranges of any given note (eg: upper Sa) don't span more than one octave. Therefore, men and women should be picking the same among those notes as their base note.

vark
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 May 2020, 19:36

#3 Re: Matching sa pa sa with shruti

Post by vark »

Oh okay thanks. But with which 'Sa' of the shruti box do I match my madhya shadjama Sa? THe upper or lower pitched one?

Sath
Posts: 13
Joined: 10 Jan 2020, 12:37
x 1

#4 Re: Matching sa pa sa with shruti

Post by Sath »

In the pa-Sa-Sa-sa notes of the tambura, the Sa (2nd, 3rd notes) would be your shadjam (starting note of your middle octave).

That said, there are many different types of tamburas, and I'm sure you can find an exception to that rule.

It's been many years since I used a Shruthi box, and I can't remember what notes a standard one plays. Perhaps someone else could chimed in and help?

ganesh_mourthy
Posts: 1268
Joined: 02 Sep 2007, 23:08
x 5
x 6

#5 Re: Matching sa pa sa with shruti

Post by ganesh_mourthy »

It depends .
Mostly it is sa pa Sa pa synchronized .

What is the brand of the shruthi box ?
Ragini?

vark
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 May 2020, 19:36

#6 Re: Matching sa pa sa with shruti

Post by vark »

@ganesh_mourthy , I am not using a shrutibox. I refer to this video from youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6y2IST7lbk

The notes of the tanpura as stated in the video are pa-Sa-Sa-sa

So can you tell me to which Sa we match our refernce shadjam when we sing Sa-Pa-Sa in the beginning of a music class?


Also, what do you mean by "synchronized" here?
Last edited by vark on 12 Jun 2020, 14:55, edited 1 time in total.

vark
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 May 2020, 19:36

#7 Re: Matching sa pa sa with shruti

Post by vark »

@Sath I refer to this video from youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6y2IST7lbk

The notes of the tanpura as stated in the video are pa-Sa-Sa-sa.

So can you tell me to which Sa we match our refernce shadjam, that is the first Sa in the Sa-Pa-Sa that we sing in the beginning of a music class?

As per your comment, is it the second and third notes of the pa-Sa-Sa-sa? That is, the Sa with capital S

Sath
Posts: 13
Joined: 10 Jan 2020, 12:37
x 1

#8 Re: Matching sa pa sa with shruti

Post by Sath »

vark wrote: 12 Jun 2020, 14:54 @Sath I refer to this video from youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6y2IST7lbk

The notes of the tanpura as stated in the video are pa-Sa-Sa-sa.

So can you tell me to which Sa we match our refernce shadjam, that is the first Sa in the Sa-Pa-Sa that we sing in the beginning of a music class?

As per your comment, is it the second and third notes of the pa-Sa-Sa-sa? That is, the Sa with capital S
Just listened to the video. Yes, exactly right.

vark
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 May 2020, 19:36

#9 Re: Matching sa pa sa with shruti

Post by vark »

@Sath Thank you!

Post Reply