This is an alpabetical listing of the important and frequently used Indian Classical music terms. This section is taken from culturalindia.net.
Achal – Achal Swaras are the fixed swaras of the seven musical notes. Sa and Pa are the achal swaras of the Indian classical music.
Arohi – The term Arohi, also known as Arohana and Aroh, is used to define the ascending melody in music.
Avirbhav – Avirbhav is that technique of presenting the raga, in which the raga is noticeably expanded and exhibited
Abhoga – The last stage of a musical composition, especially in the Drupad music.
Alaap – Alaap is the free flow of the Raga, in which there are no words and no fixed rhythm. It is the purest from of melody.
Andolan – Andolan refers to a slow alternation between the notes and shrutis that are next to each other.
Ang – The term ‘Ang’ refers to the root to which a particular raga belongs. For example, Tantrakari Ang (instrumental style of music)
Alankar – Means ornaments or adornments. Alankaras are those notes and features that differentiate one raga from the other. The application of an alankar is essentially to embellish or enhance the
inherent beauty of the genre.
Antar Gandhar – One of the variable forms of the third note ‘Ga’ of Indian Classical Music.
Antara – Antara is the second stage of a musical composition that emphasizes the upper half of the octave-range.
Antya – Antya is the last section of a musical composition, after which the recital ends.
Anuvadi – Those notes of a raga that are neither highlighted nor downplayed are known as Anuvadi notes.
Asthai – Asthai is the first as well as the fundamental part of a composition, which is repeated during the entire alaap.
Asthan – The octave region of a raga is known as its Asthan. For example, the lower octave region is known as the Mandar Asthan.
Ati – The term Ati refers to an extreme in a raga. For example, Ati Vilambit Laya means extremely slow tempo.
Audava – Audava is a raga that has only five notes i.e. ‘Paanch Swaras’.
Avarohi – The term Avarohi, also known as Avarohana and Avaroh, is used to define the descending melody in music.
Bhajan – A devotional song eulogizing Indian Gods and Goddesses. Sung in light classical style, it is usually set to 6, 7 or 8 beat cycles.
Bol – The term ‘Bol’ refers to the words making up a vocal composition.
Carnatic – Ancient classical music of South India is known as Carnatic Music
Chakra – As per the Melakarta table of raga classification, Chakras are the twelve groups according to which the ragas are categorized.
Chalan – Chalan is the makeup of a musical composition, which embodies the movement of a particular raga.
Chautalaa – Chautalaa is the musical cycle that consists of fourteen beats.
Dadra Tal – Dadra Tal is the common cycle in the lighter forms of music, comprising of six or three beats.
Deepchandi Tal – Deepchandi Tal is the tabla composition with fourteen beats
Dhamar Tal – Dhamar Tal is the fourteen beat Tal that has a ‘5+2+3+4’ vibhag pattern.
Dhaivata – Dhaivata is the sixth of the seven swaras or notes of the Indian classical scale.
Drut – Drut is the term denoting the fast tempo or speed of the Tal.
Ektal – Ektal is that Tal of the Indian classical music in which the 12 matras are divided into 6 vibhags, each of them having two matras.
Gandhar – Gandhar is ‘Ga’, the third musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Gayaki – Gayaki is one of the several styles of singing.
Geet – Geet is the Indian term for a song or composition.
Ghazal – Ghazal is a poetic-cum-musical form of Hindustani light music, with Persian and Urdu poetic influences.
Grama – Gramas are the basic notes employed in musical tradition. Initially there were three gramas – Shadaja, Madhyama and Gandhar.
Hindustani – Hindustani Classical Music is the form of Indian classical music that developed in northern parts of India.
Jati – Jati refers to the classification of musical compositions as per the tones.
Jhaptal – Jhaptal is an Indian rhythmic form with a ten-beat cycle.
Jhumra Tal – Jhumra Tal is a slow Indian rhythmic form of 14 (3+4+3+4) beats.
Kan – Kan is the grace note of a musical composition.
Keharwa Tal – Keharwa Tal is the one of the rhythms of the Indian classical music, which has an eight beat cycle.
Komal – The flat form of a note or swar in the classical music of India.
Kriti – Kriti is a format of a musical composition that characterizes the Carnatic form of music.
Lakshan – An introduction to the ragas is known as Lakshan. It comprises of a set of rules and principles.
Laya – Laya can be described as the tempo or speed of the Tal.
Madhya Saptak – The basic saptak, with middle octave region, is known as the Madhya Saptak.
Madhya Laya – Madhya Laya is the medium tempo or speed of the Tal.
Madhyama – Madhyama is ‘Ma’, the fourth musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Mandra – Mandra refers to the lower scale notes of the raga, written with dots underneath them.
Meend – Meend is an unbroken flow of a musical progression, from higher to lower notes.
Mela – Mela is the basic organization of the notes in aroha and avaroha melody.
Mishra – A Mishra melody is that melody which has features of more than one raga. ”
Mridangam – Mridangam is a drumming instrument, used in the Carnatic music of South India.
Nada – The raga or musical notes in music are known as nada vibrations. There are basically two types of Nadas – Ahata (struck) and Unahata (un-struck).
Nada Brahma – The concept of Nada Brahma means that the whole universe was created from the energy of sound.
Nataka – Nataka is the Hindi term used for defining a theater performance.
Nyasa – Nyasa is the last note of a specific phrase of notes, which leads to its ending.
Nishadha – Nishadha is ‘Ni’, the seventh musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Pakad – Pakad is the catch phrase of note combinations, which normally comprises of five notes. It characterizes the flow of a raga.
Panchama – Panchama is ‘Pa’, the fifth musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Pandit – Pandit is a term of respect, used to refer to the masters or scholars in the field of Indian Classical Music.
Poorvang – The lower region of an octave, from Sa to Ma (Sa Re Ga Ma) is known as the Poorvang.
Prati – The term Prati is used to define a sharp musical note i.e. a musical note that is higher in pitch by a semitone.
Raga – Raga is the basic organization of the thirteen musical notes in a composition, as per specific rules.
Ragini – Ragini is the feminine form of raga. It is usually described as a summary of the main theme of the melody.
Rasa – Rasa is the term used to define the emotional state or quality of the raga and ragini. There are nine rasas in classical music.
Rasik – Rasik is name given to the composer of a Rasa.
Rishabha – Rishabha is ‘Re’, the second musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Rupak Tal – Rupak Tal is an Indian rhythmic form, which comprises of seven beats.
Sanchari – Sanchari is the third subsection of a musical composition that comprises of all the regions of the octave.
Sangeet – Sangeet is the Hindu term used to define music.
Sampooran – Sampooran ragas are those ragas that comprise of all the seven notes.
Samvadi – Samvadi is the second most important class into which the notes in the basic musical gamut are divided.
Sandhi Prakash – The ragas that are performed during the hours of twilight or dusk are called Sandhi Prakash Ragas.
Saptak – Saptak means the set of seven swars or seven notes of the Indian Classical Music.
Sargam – Sargam is the term used to define the scale of notes used in the composition of music.
Shadaja – Shadaja is ‘Sa’, the first musical note of Indian Classical Music.
Shastra – Shastra is the treatise or text that explains the timeless rules and principles behind music.
Shaudava – Shaudava Raga is the raga that comprises of six notes in its ascending or descending movement.
Shruti – Shruti is the sound interval between recognized notes or swaras.
Shudha – The pure and natural notes or swaras are known as Shudha Swaras.
Swara – Swaras are the musical notes of a composition.
Swaroop – The term Swaroop refers to the image of a raga.
Tabla – Tabla is a North Indian drum set, which comprises of the Dagga (bass drum) and the Tabla (Treble drum)
Tal – Tal is a predisposed arrangement of beats, in a certain tempo
Tan – An improvised vocal or instrumental musical phrase
Tanpura – String instrument used for drone; Tanpura means to fill the void behind the music; to complete or assist a tan; a. k. a. Tamboora
Tar – Tar is a fast-paced musical and melodic amplification of vocal as well as instrumental classical music.
Tamboora – Tamboora is a musical instrument made from a gourd (Tumba). It is also known as Tanpura.
Thaat – Thaat is Pandit Bhatkande’s classification of all the ragas into one of ten parent scales.
Thumri – Thumri is a form of ‘light-classical’ vocal music. It does not follow the tala and raga rules of music very rigidly.
Tintal (Teental) – Tintal is an Indian rhythmic tal with sixteen beats, in four equal divisions.
Tirobhav – Tirobhav basically means the process of concealing a raga on a temporary basis.
Tivra – Tivra means the highest state (pitch) of the two notes, madhyama and nishad.
Uttarang – Uttarang is the higher tetra-chord of an octave, which comprises of Pa, Dha, Ni and Sa notes.
Vadi – Vadi is the note that holds the maximum importance in a raga.
Vakra – Vakra Raga is one of the four Janya Ragas and has swaras in a non-sequential order.
Varana – The four Varanas are the four basic ways, on the basis of which musical tones are organized.
Varjit – Varjit note is the note that is deleted from the Arohi or Avarohi of its derivative Ragas.
Vikrit – Vikrit notes are the modified notes used in the raga.
Vilambit – The term Vilambit is used to denote the slow speed or tempo of the Tal.
Vivadi – Vivadi notes are those notes that are either not included in a raga or are used very rarely.