DICTIONARY OF SOME SOUTH INDIAN MUSICAL TERMS
A collection of terms in South Indian Music ( with a few terms from North Indian Music ) with their meaning
or description has been provided.
: means repetition and practice of music, (eg., practice a raga so that
its Bahutwa swaras are brought to perfection).
: the notes that do not admit varieties. These have no sharps or flats.
SHADJA : is the tonic note - shadja. The chyuta shadja is slightly
lower in frequency when compared to the tonic shadja.
SHADJA : is the key note, basic swara, the fundamental note
on which a raga is built.
: the most ancient swaras known in the Indian music. The swaras are udaatta,
anudaatta and svarita of the vedic hymns. Panini refers to these 3 notes
as the Aadi swaras.
: (sanskrit term) is the practice of music using the intonation, aa. It
is among the basic vocal exercises in Indian music. These exercises help
in acquiring a sweet, round, beautiful and pleasant tone and strenghtens
: is a unit of time in music. It is relative and not an absolute measure.
: are scale exercises illustrating the seven principal talas and their
varieties and describes the decorative figures that adorn a raga.
: is the richest area of music and is a area where a musician reveals his
musical, intellectual and spiritual capabilities. It is the development
of a raga through improvisation in such a way that raga's form and spirit
are revealed, while observing all the laws that govern the raga.
AALAAPANA : is the aalaapana, when no words, syllables or mnemonics
: is the final and concluding section of a composition. It serves to give
a greater sense of finality.
: a term to signify the singing or performing a theme in three degrees
of speed, while keeping the basic tala constant. The kriti is thus first
sung once at its basic speed, then twice at double its speed and at double
that or four times the basic speed in the third stage.
: is the second section of a kriti, varna, padam in carnatic music.
: all ragas have two pivotal swaras called vadi & samvadi, while the
other swaras are neither. These are called anuvadi swaras.
: is a swara whose pitch has poor focus. It is a note that is off-key.
: is the first performance given by a performer before an invited audience.
: sabha or concert hall
: means singing to one note. eg., certain passages in the Rig Veda where
the recitation should be in one note.
: is a series of notes in the ascending order of pitch.
verses) : is the name given to the poetry by Jayadeva in the Gita Govindam
consisting of 26 Ashtapadis.
: is the descending scale of notes of a raga.
: a song consisting of eight sections and each section being sung to the
VIDWAN : State musician.