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A gamak can be defined as a fast meend (spanning 2-3 notes normally) delivered with deliberate force and vigour and repeated in an oscillatory manner. R G is a meend if it is a glide from R to G at a moderately slow tempo. But the same R G repeated twice or more at a relatively faster tempo, often forcefully, is termed as gamak. The gamak is distinguishable from the andolan because of its faster speed and its clearly audible starting and ending points. It is swar–based while the andolan is more shruti-based.

ITC SRA scholar Samarth Nagarkar sings medium tempo gamaks in sargams followed by those in dhrupad-style syllables, both in raga Bhairav.

Gamaks in Darbari Kanhada by Ulhas Kashalkar.

Ulhasji sings gamaks at different tempos mixed with meends in raga Komal Rishav Asavari.

Although gamaks have been traditionally associated with male singers, Shruti Sadolikar sings forceful gamaks in Nat. Thereafter, she sings a very rarely heard and difficult raga, Malshree. This raga has only four notes and demands gamak-oriented movements and patterns for its highly limited area of exposition.

Excerpts from a gamak-based bandish, in Nayaki Kanhada by Guru Arun Bhaduri.

Like meends, gamaks of various kinds have been the forte of dhrupad singers. We have Falguni Mitra singing gamaks in raga Bihag. He begins with medium tempo light gamaks and follows it up with faster tempo heavy gamaks and includes some gamaks in sargams as well.

A gamak-based composition, Lyrics, in raga Malkauns by Falguni Mitra.

Medium tempo gamaks on the sitar followed by varieties of gamaks at a faster speed. The third part has gamaks played at a moderately high speed.

On the sarode we have slow gamaks where the oscillation is both ascending and descending. This is followed by faster gamaks in the lower octave that slowly moves up, gradually increasing the interval between the notes.

Gamaks of different types played by Buddhadev Das Gupta in raga Kafi Kanhada.


Meend Kan Sparsh Krintan Andolan
Gamak Kampit Khatka/Gitkari Zamzama Murki

Combination of Alankars in recital


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