Half notes is the term usually applied to the finger positions used to produce the komal notes and shuddh Ma.
It is something of a misnomer, as the amount of space that is open above the hole is considerably less than half, more like a quarter, down to as little as perhaps, five percent. It is for this reason these notes are difficult to play; the beginner has a tendency to play these notes too sharp. With the finger so close over the hole there are other problems as well; with less air passing through, both volume and tonal quality will suffer, until the player learns to compensate with stronger and more focussed blowing.
There is no mechanical formula for producing these notes; different fingers of the hand have different flexibility and response, each komal note has its own and different aperture, which will even vary slightly from one flute to another. The ear is the only guide. The player must have a very clear picture of the intonation required if these notes are to be produced accurately.
The bansuri player will find that komal Dha and Re are more difficult than komal Ni and Ga; the aperture needs to be smaller, and moving from one komal note to another is generally more difficult than moving from a komal note to a shuddha note. Every note combination has its own particulars and dynamics, and the bansuri player needs to know exactly what is needed to, for instance, move from from Komal Ga to Re, From Komal Ga to Komal Re, or to Sa, to Ma , to tivra Ma, to Pa etc. It is important for the bansuri player to play a range of raags wide enough to cover all possible melodic combinations if there are not to be gaps in the player’s technique. The relationship between embouchure and finger work is not always obvious, but a player will find that only when all melodic combinations are mastered with all the adjustments of embouchure that are needed to produce them, that a full maturity of tonal quality and expression can be realized.


doremi said...

One point - there are 2 techniques for Half note.
1. To move the finger upwards uncovering part of the hole.
2. To move the finger sideways uncovering part of the hole.

As with the fingering styles of using finger tips or phalenges, this is a personal preference.

Anil Moghe said...

There is third method suitable for komal ga ma and ni. Here one just lifts the middle part of corrosponding finger without lifting tip and base of finger. I found this has better control.