Animals and birds are important to the Telugu language because each music note has an animal or bird sound representing it.
Much as in English in the way we use Solfege to learn pitch and sight-reading in music using do (or doh), re me, fa, so, la, ti; the Indian equivalent of this is Sargam and uses Sa, Re/Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha/Da, and Ni which are said to have originated from different animal and bird sounds.
- Sa = Cry of the peacock
- Re = Lowing of the bull
- Ga = Bleating of a goat
- Ma = Call of the heron
- Pa = Call of the cuckoo
- Dha = Neighing of the horse
- Ni = Trumpeting of the elephant
- Sa comes from Shadja meaning 'giving birth to six'
- Re is from Rishabha meaning ‘Great One’
- Ga is taken from Gandhar which means ‘sweet fragrance’
- Ma is from Madhyama meaning ‘being in the middle’
- Pa is from Panchama meaning ‘the fifth note’
- Dha comes from Dhaivata meaning ‘sixth note/divine’
- Ni is from Nishad meaning ‘seventh note’