Can the same musical instrument be used to create Indian and Western music? What is the difference between Indian music and western music? How to relate Indian music with western music?


So these are some questions that pop in the head of a rookie in a musical instrument. Let us decipher the music worlds to you. To do this let us take a keyboard to learn some prerequisites to understand the concept.



Every note has its own frequency. So first learn to match different frequencies so as to improve your listening skills. Either play a note and try to match with your voice. Or sing a note and try to match a key with it.

If your voice and the note sounds the same, it means that you are singing in the frequency of the note.

Do re mi vs. Sa Re Ga Ma

Is do re mi any different from Sa Re Ga Ma? It is not entirely different except for the name. 

Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do – Western 

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Da Ni Sa – Indian Classical

C D E F G A B C – Universal Music 

But there are a few things that you have to learn to relate more easily with Western and Indian Music forms.

A look at the keyboard/piano

What do we see in a piano or a keyboard? White and black keys. Are there black keys in between all the white keys? Nope. Some white keys do not have black keys in the middle. Keep this in mind to understand a whole step and a half step.

Women Playing Piano

Whole step and half step

Let me number the keys for you. This is one octave. From C to C. There are 8 major notes. CDEFGABC. You can see all are white. Now ignore the color. Two keys = Whole step. One key = Half Step. 

For Eg. From C to D there is a black key in between. This is a whole step. 

Chromatic Scale vs. Twelve-Tone system of Carnatic music

When we compare the Chromatic scale and the twelve-tone system of Carnatic music you get a better insight into the relationship

Let us assume we are playing the C Major scale in the keyboard, we can easily relate with the twelve-tone system of Carnatic music.

C sharpBlackRi1
D  WhiteRi2
D sharpBlackRi 3
F Sharp BlackMa2
White Pa
G SharpBlackDa1
A SharpBlackNi1

The above is the chromatic C scale. Progress one note from the other in half steps. From C to D is a whole step. E to F is a half step.

But from E to F there is no key in between. This is a half step.

Formation of Scales

Formation of Major Scales usually has the following formula


C   C# D   D#  EF F# G   G#   A  A# BC

Sa Re     GaMa Pa Da NiSa

Apply this scale from any key and you should be able to arrive at a Major Scale easily.


Fuse your styles and enjoy music. Indian or Western. Music gives us immense joy and creating music is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to yourself.

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