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Meend - Basic

The Meend in its most basic form can range from a simple span of 2 notes to a whole octave. These are straightforward, smooth and uni-directional. The basic Meend is generally very slow paced and usually rendered in the first part of the alaap – vistaar. As the pace gradually picks up, the Meends also gain in tempo and progress to more complex structures (as defined in the remaining Types of Meend).

  1. As a starting point, ITC SRA scholars Ranjani Ramachandran and Teja Kale sing simple two-note ascending and descending meends. G M, M P and D P, P M
  2. They now increase the range between the notes and sing meends spanning 5 swars. G N, M  and M, N G.
  3. They further increase the range and cover an entire octave through a glide. G and S.

Meends with rests on Intermediate notes

A second type of Meend employs a slight pause on one or more intermediate notes within the Basic Meend. The duration of the rest may vary from one raga to another.

  1. This is G S (without pause) in a smooth movement followed by G R S, with a hint of a pause on R as in raga Bihag. The same principle is followed in the phrase n P and n d P in Bhairavi.
  2. ITC SRA guru, Shruti Sadolikar, renders typical meends in Shuddh Kalyan (P m G R and N D) to further illustrate this type of meend.
  1. ITC SRA scholar Jayeeta Sanyal begins with 2-note meends on the sitar. She then plays three-note and 4-note meends with rests on intermediate notes.
    Meend- Track 14 Meendsitar

Undulating Meends

Meends can be ascending, descending or a combination of both. The third type sometimes has an undulating or wave-like effect and may be referred to as the Undulating Meend.

  1. Illustrated here is a meend with a wave effect in M G P m P D P M in Kedar and G R M G P m D P in Gaud Sarang.
  1. Scholar Abir Hussain begins with 2-note meends on the sarode. He then increases the range of the meends starting from a common point, . He plays octave meends as well. Undulating meends like     S R S g, R S g R M etc follow. He concludes with 3-note meends at different speeds - S, R, S R g etc., with rests on the intermediate note.Meend- Track 15 Meendsarode


Ghaseet is a technique of plucking a note and then, within the resonance generated, gliding the other hand along the string over the frets (on the sitar) and along the steel plate (in the case of the sarode). A Ghaseet is fast paced and differs only in speed from other alankars in the Meend category. Ghaseets are often played in jod ang.

  1. Ghaseets on the sitar. Meend- Track 16 Meendsitar Ghaseet
  2. These are ghaseets on the sarode played in the jod ang. Meend- Track 17 Meendsarode Ghaseet
  3. ITC SRA Guru Manilal Nag plays ghaseets on the sitar in raga Puriya Dhanashri.Meend- Track 18 Meend Ghaseet Mn


Just as the ghaseet relates to instrumental music, the Soonth is a fast paced (basic) meend employed by vocalists. This usually comes into play in the latter part of the alaap-vistaar, after the pace picks up.

  1. Dhrupadiya Falguni Mitra sings Soonths spanning 4 to 5 notes, P S, G , D G, G N G, S P etc., together with other meends.Meend- Track 12 Meend Soonth Fm

Sargam Meends

Any Meend can be sung by the vocalist in aakars, bols of the bandish or in Sargams.

  1. Shrutiji sings several meends in Mian-ki-Malhar in sargams. For sargam meends, it is important to know which swar is to be pronounced and which ones are to be hidden.
  2. Guru Ajoy Chakrabarty sings some fluid long sargam meends in raga Megh.Meend- Track 10 Meend Sargam Ac

Meends in Dhrupad

It is often said that pure unadulterated meends are best sung by dhrupadiyas because khayaliyas sometimes succumb to their creative urge and employ other alankars in the slow preliminary alaap portions of a recital. Undoubtedly a meend is the strongest weapon in the dhrupadiya’s armoury.

  1. Falguni Mitra sings a short alaap in Raga Bihag.Meend- Track 11 Meend Dhrupad Fm
  2. In contrast to the very slow meends in the above rendition, Falguni Mitra sings Soonths, which are the fast meends illustrated earlier. These span 4 to 5 notes, P S, G , D G, G N G, S P etc.Meend- Track 12 Meend Soonth Fm
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