Resources - Glossary

Bansuri

The fabled Bansuri, or bamboo flute of Northern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal...

Bhajan

A Bhajan is any type of Indian devotional song.

Bhangra

Bhangra is a lively form of music and dance that originated in the Punjab region

Bharatanatyam

Bharatanatyam is the most widely known and exalted of the classical Indian dances

Bollywood Dance

Bollywood dancing is primarily based off of Indian dance styles such as classical...

Chitravina

The chitravina, is a 20 or 21-string fretless lute for Carnatic music

Dadra

Dadra is a light classical style which is very similar to thumri.

Dhammar

Dhammar is a very old style of singing.  The name is also applied to instrumental renditions of the same.  It has many similarities to dhrupad.

Dhol

Dhol can refer to any one of a number of similar types of double-headed drum...

Dhrupad

Dhrupad is a type of vocal composition in North Indian art-music...

Dilruba

Dilruba is a cross between the sitar and sarangi...

Garba

Garba is an Indian form of dance that originated in the Gujarat region.

Gharana

In Hindustani music, a gharana is a system of social organization linking musicians or dancers...

Ghatam

The ghatam is a percussion instrument used in the Carnatic music of South India.

Ghazal

The ghazal is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain,..

Ghungroo

A Ghungroo, is one of many small metallic bells strung together to form Ghungroos

Giddha Boliyan

Boliyan or Bolis are musical couplets that are sung in Punjab.

Guru Purnima

 Guru Purnima is a day celebrated each year to express gratitude upon the Guru.

Harmonium

The Harmonium is not native to South Asia – French missionaries introduced it to India

Hindustani Classical Music

Hindustani classical music is the Hindustani or North Indian style....

Kathak

Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from Uttar Pradesh

Khayal

In Urdu, the word ‘khayal’ means ‘imagination’ which is indicative of the styles highly improvisational nature. It is generally an abstract and complete presentation of the rag.

Kirtan

Kirtan is the devotional singing of the praises of God in melody and rhythm.

Lakshan Geet

Lakshan Geet are simple composition which describes a raag in the lyrics.

Mizrab

A Mizrāb (Mezrāb) is a plectrum which is used for several Iranian and Indian string instruments.

Mohan Veena

The Mohan veena is a stringed musical instrument used in Indian classical...

Mridangam

The mridangam is a percussion instrument from India of ancient origin

Nataraj
Odissi

The Odissi dance is the Indian classical dance from the Eastern state of Odissa

Pandit

A pandit is a scholar, a teacher, particularly one skilled in Sanskrit language

Qawwali

Qawwali is the devotional, sacred music of the Sufis, Islamic mystics.

Raga

A rāg is one of the melodic modes used in Indian classical music.

Ragamala Paintings

Ragamala Paintings are a series of illustrative paintings from medieval India

Ras Garba

Garba is an Indian form of dance that originated in the Gujarat region

Rudra Veena

The rudra veena is a large plucked string instrument used in Hindustani classical music

Samay

Samay is a term used to loosely categorize ragas into times of days.

Sangeet

Sangeet is first mentioned and it's origin/usage described in the monumental arts treatise written in the late Vedic Era (over 2,000 years ago) called Natya Shastra.

Santoor

Santoor is a hammered dulcimer from the mountains of Kashmir in Northern India and Pakistan.

Sarangi

The Sarangi is probably Hindustani classical music’s most beloved ancient instrument, known for its soulful sound that transports the listener to a peaceful state-of-mind.

Saraswati Veena

The Saraswati veena is an Indian plucked string instrument. It is named after the Hindu goddess Saraswati, who is usually depicted holding or playing the instrument.

Sari

A sari is a strip of unstitched cloth, worn by females, ranging from four to nine yards in length that is draped over the body in various styles.

Sarod

Next to the sitar, the sarod is the most well-known stringed instrument in Hindustani  classical music.

Shabad

In Sikhism, a shabad is a sacred song selected from Sikhism's scripture Guru Granth Sahib, everlasting Guru of the Sikhs.

Shehnai

The shehnai, is wind instrument, a double reed conical oboe, common in North India, West India and Pakistan, made out of wood, with a metal flare bell at the end.

Sitar

The Sitar is the most popular melody instrument in Hindustani (North India and neighbouring countries) classical music with a long neck.

Sufi Music

Sufi music is the devotional music of the Sufis, inspired by the works of Sufi poets, like Rumi, Hafiz, Bulleh Shah and Khwaja Ghulam Farid.

Swara

The seven notes of the scale (swaras), in Indian music are named shadja, rishabh, gandhar, madhyam, pancham, dhaivat and nishad.

Taal

In Indian musical theory and practice the marking of musical metre...

Tabla

The tabla is a famous percussion interest from North India and neighbouring countries

Tanpura

The tanpura is a long necked plucked string instrument used in North Indian Hindustani music

Tar Shehnai

The tar shehnai (“the stringed shehnai”) is an instrument...

Tarana

Tarana is a type of composition in Hindustani classical vocal music in which certain words and syllables based on Persian and Arabic phonemes are used in a medium-paced or fast rendition.

Taus

Taus, meaning ‘peacock’ in Persian (due to its shape reminiscing the bird)...

Teental

Teental of the most famous talas of Hindustani music.

Thaats

A thaat is a musical mode in Hindustani music which always has seven notes (excluding the repeated tonic) and is considered the basis for the system of organizing and classifying ragas in North Indian classical music.

Thumri

Thumri is a common style of light classical music said to have begun with the court of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, 1847-1856.

Tumbi

The Tumbi is an ancient traditional North Indian musical instrument from Punjab.

Ustad

Honorific title, derived from Arabic ustādh: ‘master’...

Venu

The venu is a bamboo transverse flute used in the Carnatic music