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Glossary :

  1. Abhoga
  2. It means 'till completion' and refers to the last section of musical compositions, especially in dhrupad.

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  3. Alankara
  4. Literally means 'that which decorates or embellishes.' In music it refers to features such as a change in the sequence of notes, their repetition, introduction of variety in timbre in one single phrase, etc. Embellishments are employed to bring in more beauty in presenta tions. A broad parallel would be figures of speech in literature.

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  5. Alap
  6. Elaboration of a musical idea contained or implicit in the original tonal phrase, rngn-frame, composition, etc.

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  7. Amivadi
  8. Those notes included in a raga but different from vadi and samvadi notes.

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  9. Antara
  10. The second section of a composition following immediately after the first and generally highlighting the upper half of the octave-range

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  11. Ardhatala
  12. These tala-s are regarded to be less than full-fledged on account of their inherent simplicity of construction. These are often used in folk and other non-elite categories of music.

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  13. Arohi
  14. It means 'ascending in order', and the progression thus des cribed indicates movement from notes of lower pitches to those of higher.

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  15. Ashtapadi
  16. A song-type originally composed by the poet Jayadeva in the twelveth-thirteenth century in his dance-drama Geelgovind. The form was revived in Hindustani vocal art music for solo performances by musicians of the Gwalior school in the nineteenth century.

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  17. Auchar
  18. Following from the word ucchara meaning 'articulation', it mainly refers to the initial and primary spelling out of melodic ideas in raga-presentation.

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  19. Avanaddha
  20. Instruments featuring a membrane for cover resonators. In the science of musical instruments they are classified as membranophones because in such instruments membranes are the primary sound-creating agents.

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  21. Bada Khayal
  22. The Khaya-composition in Hindustani vocal music charac terized by a relatively slow tempo and, hence, conducive to expan sive melodic elaborations.

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  23. Bal
  24. Sections of elaborations in rhythm-music mainly created by changes in dynamics and accentuation of their respective sound-syllables.

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  25. Bandish
  26. A common term for a musical composition, though sometimes confined incorrectly to melodic music, especially of the art category.

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  27. Bandish-ki-thumri
  28. A type of thumri set to teentala and designed to be used in dance-performances.

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  29. Bani
  30. Refers to the four basic styles of singing/rendering dhrupad, mainly from the repertoire of vocal art music.

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  31. Barabari Tempo
  32. which is in equal measure to the tala in progression.

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  33. Bhajan
  34. A genre of vocal devotional music also presented from the concert-stage.

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  35. Biruda
  36. A section of a composition containing salutation to the deity, guru, etc.

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  37. Bol
  38. Units of meaningful as well as meaningless sound-syllables used to elaborate musical ideas.

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  39. Chaiti
  40. A genre of semi-classical vocal music based on folk-songs sung to welcome the spring season in Uttar Pradesh and adjoining areas.

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  41. Chaturang
  42. A genre in Hindustani art music in which the sthayi, antara, sargam and sound-syllables used in tabla or pakhawaj compositions are used in four successive sections of a four-part composition set in raga and tala.

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  43. Chikari
  44. High-pitched strings in instruments such as the sitar, used for creating tonal-cum-rhythmic patterns in melodic elaborations.

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  45. Chota khayal
  46. A composition in the khayal-geme usually set in fast tempo and rendered after the bada khayal.

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  47. Deshi
  48. Apart from being the name of a popular raga, the term refers to one of the two ancient categories of music. Deshi, as opposed to margi, was described as essentially regional, enjoyed by all and free from the rules pertaining to raga and tala. The other type of music, namely margi was designed to please god and relied on strict adher ence to rules related to raga and tala.

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  49. Dhala
  50. Sounds or notes low in pitch.

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  51. Dhrupad
  52. Genre in vocal art music having a nearly four-century old history. It is regarded to be the oldest form still in circulation.

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  53. Dhuya Natyashastra
  54. refers to dhuya, as a song-type used in drama according to prescribed rules. The term seems to indicate a relation ship with dhrupad, a genre current in art music today. However, the connection between the two in tenuous.

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  55. Dhyana
  56. The state of contemplation. The concept and some related techniques came to be associated with music, especially raga, on account of the influence of the philosophy of tantra. As a culmina tion of a process, each raga was described as an icon with a definite posture, colours, weapons, costume, etc. The musician was expected to contemplate the icon so as to help him realize the spirit of the raga. The concept was further extended after the sixteenth century to bring into vogue the unique series of pictures Ragamala and the picturization styles perfected therein.

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  57. Drut
  58. It is the tempo generally described as 'fast' though there are controversies as to the exact unit of measurement employed to determine the validity of the description. The tradition is to differ entiate tempi as vilambit, madhya, and drut. The first, vilambit (slow) is half that of the madhya (medium) in tempo. The medium tempo, in its turn, is half of the drut (fast) tempo. In other words, Indian musicology, for many reasons settles on the concept of relative musical time as contrasted with absolute time.

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  59. Dugun
  60. Obtained from the Sanskrit term dvigun meaning double or twice. Refers to the doubling of the speed of a melodic or rhythmic phase.

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  61. Gamaka
  62. An important embellishment in music-making, vocal as well as instrumental. In it, musical notes are so produced as to touch upon the lower as well as the upper adjacent notes by resorting to a vibratory mode of vocalizing or playing.

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  63. Ghana
  64. The term meaning 'solid' refers to one of the four instrumental classes, the other three being avanaddha, sushira, and tala. Members of the ghana class are technically described as idiophones or autophones as the entire body of the concerned instrument phonates when played. The obvious examples are cymbals, rattles, gongs, and clappers. Instruments such as jhanj, kartal, morchang, and different kinds of bells abound in India. They are mostly employed to create rhythm. Primitive, folk, devotional, and popular categories of music use them in appreciable measure.

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  65. Gharana
  66. A school of thought in music which determines the nature, proportion, aim, and actual rendering of each technical feature in music-making. It is a formulation of the basic musical philosophy or ideology which influences conception, teaching, learning, perfor mance, reception, and codification of music in its major aspects.

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  67. Ghazal
  68. A popular poetico-musical form of Hindustani semi-art or light music with considerable assimilation of initial Persian and later Urdu poetic influences.

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  69. Grama
  70. The basic gamut of notes employed in the early music-tradition.The ancient tradition was stated to have employed three grama-s, beginning from either shadja, madhyama, or gandhara note. Later, the third grama, based on gandhara reportedly went out of vogue as it required moving in an usually high range of notes.

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  71. Hori
  72. A genre of light or semi-art vocal music consisting of songs describing the well-know festival of colours, holi. Songs dealing with the same theme are also sung in the dhrupad form of art music, but then they are composed in tala dhamar and, hence, called hori-dhamar. Their treatment naturally differs from the hori-s sung in the semi-art category. These songs mostly celebrate Lord Krishna and his amo rous play with gopi-s.

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  73. Jamjama
  74. A musical embellishment which consists of forceful and speedy employment of a number of notes.

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  75. Jhala
  76. A distinctive, fast-paced, climactic, and highly rhythmic pattern ing of higher notes normally employed in playing string-instru ments such as si tar.

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  77. Jod
  78. A distinctive way of elaborating musical ideas by combining notes (often by pairing them) while moving in a tempo faster than in the earlier phase of the non-tala section in melodic presentations on instruments such as sitar.

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  79. Kajri
  80. A genre in semi-art vocal music. It describes the rainy season and the associated themes of separation, reunion with the beloved, and so on. The genre, as practiced in the concert-music, is a processed form of folk songs of similar import.

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  81. Kalbana
  82. A genre in Muslim devotional music paired with another genre known as kaul.

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  83. Khatka
  84. A musical embellishment consisting of three or more notes employed quickly, forcefully, and successively. It is used in many forms of semi-art music.

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  85. Khayal
  86. A dominant genre in Hindustani vocal art music distinguished by expanded and often improvised statements of musical ideas made concrete mainly through the interpretation of raga, use and exploration of tala, and creation and exploration of bandish-s. The genre, which is a late sixteenth century phenomenon, has fruitfully accommodated features of earlier forms and epitomized noteworthy potentialities of Hindustani music as a whole. This is why it has also encouraged emergence of numerous gharana-s, styles, and efforts of individual musicians to remain in the great traditions and, yet, carve out a niche for themselves.

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  87. Khayalnuma
  88. A genre of Hindustani vocal art music combining features of khayal as well as tarana.

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  89. Kutapa
  90. Bharata in Natyashastra refers to different arrangements of in strumental groups (employed in theatric presentations) as kutapa.

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  91. Langda Dhrupad
  92. A type of dhrupad composition more flexible than normally understood, but not as free in movement as a khayal com position.

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  93. Lehra
  94. A fixed instrumental and melodic composition employed to provide an unvarying reference frame to the solo performance of rhythm instruments such as the tabla,

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  95. Madhya
  96. The term meaning 'middle' or 'medium' is used to describe the tempo, a section of compositions, a pitch-range, etc., situated be tween the low and high or between the slow and fast, etc.

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  97. Mandra
  98. A low note or range of notes.

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  99. Manjha
  100. It refers to the middle section of compositions and means 'positioned in the middle'.

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  101. Margi
  102. The ancient sacred music in India, it was in contrast to the deshi, the more regional and mundane kind of music prevalent in the land. The classification became redundant after the medieval period.

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  103. Mat
  104. School of thought. A comprehensive philosophy of music govern ing nature, use and codification of a considerable number of impor tant musical features. This term may be taken as a precursor to the contemporary concept of gharana

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  105. Matra
  106. Usually means 'beaf, but it is more correctly translated as measurement, the basic minimal unit for measuring and dividing the flow of musical time which determines the tempo of music. This, in him, leads to the fundamental phenomenon of musical rhythm.

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  107. Meend
  108. Continuous movement from higher to lower notes in (melodic) musical progression. Regarded to be an important musical embel lishment. Instruments such as harmonium are criticized because it is not possible to execute this embellishment on them.

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  109. Mela
  110. An early term synonymous with that in art music. It is the fundamental, generative arrangement of notes both in aroha and avaroha. The arrangement functions as the parent scale from which raga is generated. The mela system came in vogue to replace the murchhana-system around the fifteenth-sixteenth century. Each mela was named after the important raga it generated and such a raga was called melakarta.

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  111. Misra
  112. The term means 'mixed' and it is used to indicate melody, etc., partaking features of more than one raga.

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  113. Mohra
  114. A short composition played to precede the first beat of the tala-cycle introduced on tabla, etc.

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  115. Mudra
  116. Informative textual part of a musical composition consisting of the name of the composer.

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  117. Mukhada
  118. In composition-texts, it is the melodic-textual phrase repeated after every completed statement of a musical idea. In tabla and other such instruments, it indicates a short composition played before the sam, that is, the first beat of the tala-cycle.

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  119. Murchhana
  120. The ancient mode of extending available tonal frameworks by commencing ascents and descents, ranging over seven notes, everytime from a new note. This mode gave way to the mela or that system around the sixteenth century.

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  121. Murti
  122. A musical embellishment consisting of a small number of notes executed in fast tempo but with tenderness and delicacy. It is mainly used in the 'lighter' forms of music and music-making.

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  123. Nom-tom
  124. A phase of melodic musical elaboration presented without tala by employing meaningless syllables such as nom, torn, dir, tana. Also employed by players of musical instruments such as veena, which follow vocal music in this respect. The phase is chiefly asso ciated with the singers/players of the dhrupad genre.

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  125. Nrityanuga
  126. An early classification of musical instruments was done on the basis of their accompanying functions. Instruments were, thus, described as followers of either song, or another instrument or dance.

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  127. Odava
  128. Consisting of five notes.

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  129. Pada
  130. Broadly means a song. In the earlier musicological literature, however, the term referred to the textual part of a musical compo sition as contrasted with the melodic and rhythmic aspects.

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  131. Panchapalli
  132. A type of rhythmic composition on tabla, etc., consisting of five successive sections each set in a different tempo.

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  133. Paran
  134. A major composition-type in the rhythm-music composed for pakhaivaj. It is of many kinds and an ability to extensively elaborate a paran is recognized as a criterion for judging a player

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  135. Pat
  136. Variation in the tempo of notes, rhythms, etc., in arithmetical units such as double, treble, and so on of the original tempo.

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  137. Patakshara
  138. Onomatopoetic sound-syllables employed to identify 'notional' alphabets of various instruments. For example, in tabla, tirkid, dha, ta, na; in pakhawaj, dhingad, gadigan, dhin dhin; or in sitar, da da, dir, dir, etc., are so identified. These and such other 'letters' are obviously expected to give us some idea of the tonal colour produced by instruments under discussion

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  139. Peshkar
  140. An important genre of rhythm-music in tabla-solo. It is usually played in the initial stages of the concert and consists of select, major sound-syllables composed to provide a basic pattern afford ing scope for the elaboration of rhythmic ideas.

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  141. Prabandha
  142. Musical composition or genre. It is a generic term indicating methodical arrangement of musical components such as melody, rhythm, words, poetry, metre, etc. The contemporary term bandish is a useful equivalent.

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  143. Qaid
  144. It means ‘imprisonment’ or 'confinement' and refers to focusing on a note to weave around it tonal patterns for elaborating raga.

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  145. Qawwali
  146. A popular genre of Islamic devotional music which has emerged from the Sufi tradition in India

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  147. Qayada
  148. An important form of rhythm-music on tabla, rendered solo. Composed of select sound-syllables with varied complexity die player elaborates it further to the best of his ability.

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  149. Rabab
  150. A string instrument not much in vogue today. A rabab player is called rababiya.

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  151. Raga
  152. The basic arrangement of the traditionally accepted thirteen notes in the musical gamut. This basic framework is elaborated according to the established norms in Hindustani art music. Raga is a highly sophisticated concept which distinguishes Indian art music from other melodic systems such as Arabic and Persian.

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  153. Ragadhyana
  154. An iconographic presentation of raga-s, probably inspired and influenced by the tantra philosophy. Coupled with shloka-s describing raga-images these iconographic presentations were expected to help performers contemplate in order to effectively render the concerned raga-s. This 'practical' aspect of the phenomenon was, however, soon relegated to the background. The ragadhyana tradition soon merged into the later pictorial tradition of the Ragamala paintings.

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  155. Ras
  156. A rare compositional variety of tarana in which sound-syllables from the dance-repertoire are composed in a certain raga and tola.

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  157. Rela
  158. A fast-paced compositional type for membranophonic instruments, especially the tabla and the pakhawaj.

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  159. Rishabha
  160. The second note in the traditional gamut of musical notes.

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  161. Sadra
  162. A sub-type of khayal in Hindustani art music composed in tola jhaptala.

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  163. Sam
  164. The first beat of any tala-cycle. In the early tradition, one of the three ways of establishing a relationship between the beginnings of the song and the tala-cycle was known as sama, indicating thereby an exact correspondence of the melodic and rhythmic cycles.

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  165. Sampurna
  166. Consisting of the seven notes of the basic scale, the term is employed to describe raga-s having seven notes.

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  167. Samvadi
  168. Notes in the basic musical gamut are divided in four classes according to their relative importance in the raga concerned. Vadi is the most important, and samvadi, the next in order of importance, holds 'conversation' with the vadi. Anuvadi forms the third class and consists of all other notes included in the raga. The fourth class- viadi- refers to those notes which are nearly excluded or very rarely used.

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  169. Sanchari
  170. An early tradition of musical genres (still relevant to dhrupad-music) prescribed four subsections to a composition and identified them as sthayi, antara, sanchari, and abhoga.

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  171. Sansthana
  172. An early term synonymous with the modern term that which means a generative framework of seven notes arranged by selec tively including/omitting certain notes. These frameworks are used to extract raga-frames elaborated in music-making. Obviously, that-s themselves are not expected to be presented as music. They merely function as launching-pads for the music to be created. The use of the term marks an end to the murchhana system of music-making prevailing till about the sixteenth century.

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  173. Sargam
  174. A short term indicating the gamut of notes included in music-making. It is also a name for a technique of music elaboration in vocal music. In it, the note-names are themselves sung to make concrete the musical idea.

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  175. Sargamgeet
  176. A music composition made with the names of the notes used as components. That is to say, it does not have words.

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  177. Sath
  178. Accompaniment in music-making, whether melodic, rhythmic, instrumental or vocal.

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  179. Sawan Hindola
  180. Name of a genre of songs sung to welcome the rainy season. As the name suggests, the songs often describe swings and their role in merry-making.

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  181. Seedhi
  182. The term means 'straight-moving' and refers to rhythmic and melodic movement of a kind.

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  183. Shabda
  184. Normally understood as 'word' in compositions, etc. In a larger philosophical perspective, the word is explained as 'the property of the ether and the experience of the ear.'

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  185. Shadava
  186. Consisting of six notes.

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  187. Sher
  188. A couplet in the Urdu verse-form identified as ghazal.

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  189. Shuddha
  190. that The that consisting of shuddha, that is, not augmented or flattened notes.

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  191. Sruti
  192. Microtonal interval.

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  193. Sthayi
  194. With reference to the fundamental arrangement of notes, it is a repetition of the same note. As a name of the compositional section, it refers to the first section which normally covers the lower half of the octave space (for example, as in khayal).

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  195. Sur Swam
  196. that is, note.

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  197. Suravarta
  198. A composition of note-names usually used to initiate a trainee in the intricacies of raga.

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  199. Sushira
  200. According to Indian musicology it is the name of the class of instruments which produce sound by blowing air through sound-holes. Instruments falling under this class are called aerophones.

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  201. Swara
  202. Musical note.

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  203. Swaragrama
  204. The fundamental arrangement of notes in a scale in ancient Indian musicology. Depending on the name of the first note, that is the note from which the basic scale began, early Indian practice identified three swaragrama-s as shadjagrama, madhyamagrama, and gandharagrama respectively.

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  205. Swarartha
  206. A medieval compositional genre in which names of the intended notes (preferably in short forms) were used to compose and present a piece.

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  207. Tabli
  208. A wooden or metallic surface of the resonator of musical instru ments, especially tata, that is those technically known as chordo-phones.

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  209. Tala
  210. A highly processed and generative arrangement of beats' in a certain tempo expected to provide an unvarying time-cycle for me lodic as well as rhythmic elaboration*.

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  211. Talapani
  212. A specialist person engaged in keeping rhythm through the actions of hands and fingers in a prescribed manner.

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  213. Tan
  214. or taal Normally understood as the fast-paced musical and melodic elabo rations in Indian music, vocal as well as instrumental.

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  215. Tapkhayal
  216. A genre of vocal music which combines the features of tappa and khayal.

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  217. Tappa
  218. A compositional genre in Hindustani vocal music reportedly inspired by the camel-drivers' songs in Punjab and adjoining areas.

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  219. Tar
  220. Usually refers to the highness of pitch. It also means a string, especially of metal.

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  221. Taraf
  222. Sympathetic string in instruments such as sitar.

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  223. Tarana
  224. A vocal genre in art music consisting chiefly of meaningless syllables.

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  225. Tata
  226. According to Indian classification of instruments the class which produces sound through vibrating strings. Technically, instruments of the class are known as chordophones.

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  227. Tenaka
  228. In the early tradition, meaningless sounds—tenashabda—were regarded auspicious and used in composing music.

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  229. Thapiya
  230. A style of playing membranophonic instruments such as pakhawaj with open palms.

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  231. That
  232. See sansthana.

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  233. Theka
  234. The basic composition for rhythm instruments such as tabla. It concretizes the otherwise abstract entity of tala.

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  235. Thok
  236. A phase in melodic metallic elaboration on instruments such as sitar. In it, strokes on the wooden or the metallic body of the instru ment play a significant role in shaping the elaborated musical idea.

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  237. Thumri
  238. An important form of 'light-classical' vocal music mainly char acterized by the freedom it takes from the tala and raga rules in art music, as also by its depiction of various moods associated with the sentiment of love.

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  239. Tihai
  240. Repeating a phrase, etc., thrice for artistic effect in melodic as well as rhythmic music.

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  241. Tipalli
  242. A composition in rhythm-music consisting of three different tempi, that is, tempo-changes or variations within a single piece, especially for tabla

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  243. Tivra
  244. Pitchwise, the highest state of two notes that is, madhyama and nishad in the accepted gamut is described as tivra. Its literal meaning is 'sharp'.

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  245. Tivratara
  246. In the early tradition of microtonal intervals, notes higher than the tivra were known as tivratara.

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  247. Toda
  248. A genre in the music composed for tabla and sitar

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  249. Tuk
  250. Section of a composition as in dhrupad, etc.

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  251. Udgraha
  252. An early term referring to the first section of a composition.

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  253. Uparaga
  254. Term for a raga derived from another raga regarded more basic.

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  255. Uthan
  256. Refers to the opening passage of rhythmic composition.

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  257. Vadi
  258. The term indicates a note which is central to a particular raga. The majority of the elaborated patterns in that raga are woven around it. Also see anuvadi, samvadi, and vivadi

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  259. Vadya
  260. Musical instrument. Literal meaning, 'that which is played upon'.

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  261. Varna
  262. The four basic ways of organizing musical tones, viz. sthayi (repeated), arohi (ascending), avarohi (descending), and sanchari (a mix of all the three).

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  263. Vibhasha
  264. An early term referring to a sub-type of the main raga. Vilambit Slow in tempo. Also see madhya and drut. Vilambit-Alap Musical elaboration, that is, alap in slow tempo

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  265. Vistara
  266. Elaboration. Chiefly refers to melodic as distinguished from rhythmic ideas.

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  267. Vivadi
  268. Notes not included or used very rarely in a raga.

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