Terms used in hindustani classical music
Term Meaning
Meend Glissando, glide from one note to another, faintly going over the intermediate notes.
Mishra Raga Mixture of two or more ragas.
Mridangam Two-faced cylindrical percussion instrument used by Carnatic (South Indian) musicians.
Mukhdas First line of a song or composition.
Naqsh Impressive (Literally) - a feature of qawwali
NomTom Syllables employed in development of a Raga in alaap/alapchari.
Pakhawaj A cylindrical percussion drum instrument, right side having a treble face and the left side the bass. This instrument is for solo playing and also accompanies the Dhrupad singers.
Pandit Honorary title given to an expert.
Parampara Tradition.
Prabandha Perfectly composed piece of music.
Pukar A musical intonation using higher notes.
Purab ang Characteristics of style of music prevalent in the eastern Uttar Pradesh e.g. Benaras
Raga Aesthetically pleasing (Literal). The basis of Indian Classical Music, raga is a musical structure of five or more notes with an identity and mood.
Raga Lakshana Notes and other features which prominently indicate a raga.
Raga Vistar Elaboration of a raga.
Riyaz Practice.
Sadhana Practice with devotion.
Sadra Khayal composition set to slow Jhaptala.
Samay Time - period.
Sangeet Sam (together) + Geet (Song); earlier included vocal, instrumental and dance but now used only to refer to music.
Sangeet Natak Academi A prominent body consisting of eminent people of Music, Dance and Drama.
Sammelan Conference
Sarangi A bowed string instrument without frets.
Sargam Sol -fas.
Sarod A popular stringed instrument without frets.
Shastriya Sangeet Classical music
Shehnai A wind instrument resembling clarionet.
Shishya Disciple.
Shruti Micro Notes
Sitar A popular stringed instrument with frets.
Soz Emotional appeal; a kind of composition (Qawali) sung in praise of Hasan Hussain
Sufis Muslim saints and a community.
Surshree An honourable title given to an eminent lady musician.
Taan Musical notes rendered with speed weaving different patterns.
Taan Pradhan Prominence of taans.
Taan Samrat A title awarded to musicians who excel in the rendering of taans.
Tabla A pair of drums, the treble is played by the right hand while the left hand plays the bass.
Tala Rhythm - cycle containing a particular number of beats.
Talim Training, process of learning / teaching.
Tanpura A drone instrument , usually of four strings and is commonly used by vocal musicians.
Tap Khayal A blend of Khayal and Tappa.
Tappa A semi-art music developed in Punjab, created by Shori Mian - and later evolved into an intricate semi classical style with bol and taan thickly knitted at every possible step.
Tarana Idiom / composition using musical syllables based on Persian and Arabic phonemes.
Thaat 10 different sets of musical scales with seven primary notes in order of ascent and in sequence only to help categorise the maximum number of Hindustani ragas under it.
Thumri Popular semi classical idiom.
Trivat Idiom / composition with three prominent features - sargam, bols of tabla and tarana.
Upanishads Old Hindu scriptures.
Urdu A composite Hindi-Arabic language evolved by Moghul soldiers ; mother tongue of Muslims and popular for its lyrical beauty.
Ustad Guru, Expert, honorary title given to a learned musician.
Vedas Earliest Hindu scriptures.
Vedangas Associated with Vedas (Old Hindu scripture).
Vilambit Slow tempo.
Vistaar Elaboration of a group of notes in a particular raga.
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