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A collection of terms in South Indian Music ( with a few terms from North Indian Music ) with their meaning or description has been provided.

ABHYAASA : means repetition and practice of music, (eg., practice a raga so that its Bahutwa swaras are brought to perfection).

ACHALA SWARAS : the notes that do not admit varieties. These have no sharps or flats.

ACHYUTA SHADJA : is the tonic note - shadja. The chyuta shadja is slightly lower in frequency when compared to the tonic shadja.

AADHAARA SHADJA : is the key note, basic swara, the fundamental note on which a raga is built.

AADI SWARAS : 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.

AKAARASAADHAKAM : (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 the voice.

AKSHARAKAALA : is a unit of time in music. It is relative and not an absolute measure.

ALANKAARA : are scale exercises illustrating the seven principal talas and their varieties and describes the decorative figures that adorn a raga.

AALAAPANA : 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.

ANAKSHARA AALAAPANA : is the aalaapana, when no words, syllables or mnemonics are used.

ANUBANDHAM : is the final and concluding section of a composition. It serves to give a greater sense of finality.

ANULOMA : 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.

ANUPALLAVI : is the second section of a kriti, varna, padam in carnatic music.

ANUVADI : all ragas have two pivotal swaras called vadi & samvadi, while the other swaras are neither. These are called anuvadi swaras.

APASWARA : is a swara whose pitch has poor focus. It is a note that is off-key.

ARANGETRAM : is the first performance given by a performer before an invited audience.

ARANGAM(Tamil) : sabha or concert hall

ARCHIKA : means singing to one note. eg., certain passages in the Rig Veda where the recitation should be in one note.

AROHANA : is a series of notes in the ascending order of pitch.

ASHTAPADI(eight verses) : is the name given to the poetry by Jayadeva in the Gita Govindam consisting of 26 Ashtapadis.

AVAROHANA : is the descending scale of notes of a raga.

ASHTAKAM : a song consisting of eight sections and each section being sung to the same music.

AASTHANA VIDWAN : State musician.