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4/25/2018 Alankar - Wikipedia

Alankar, referred to as alankaram in Carnatic music, is a concept in Indian classical music and literally means
"ornament, decoration".[1][2][3] An alankara is any pattern of musical decoration a musician or vocalist creates within or
across tones, based on ancient musical theories or driven by personal creative choices, in a progression of svaras.[1][4][4]

The ancient and medieval music scholars of India state that there are unlimited creative possibilities available to a
musician, but each scholar illustrated the concept with a set of alankara. Datilla discussed 13 alankaras, Bharata Muni
presented 33, Sarngadeva described 63 alankaras, while mid medieval scholars presented numerous more.[1] The Indian
music tradition classifies alankara as rational or irrational, wherein irrational alankara being those that cannot be
reduced to a fixed scale degree pattern. The Indian theory of gamaka covers the group of irrational alankara.[1] The
concept of alankara applies to both vocal and musical instrument performance.[1]

Purandara Dasa, the father of Carnatic music, developed learning exercises for students based on alankara and svaravali,
where the student systematically repeats a certain set of patterns over three octave registers, across various ragas and

Other definitions
External links

Here are some common types of alankara used in classical music are
A song without any alankara,
meend, a technique of singing notes in a fluid manner with one note
merging into the next - there are many different kinds of meend would be like a night without a moon,
kan-swar, grace notes - the use of grace-notes depends on the raga a river devoid of water,
being performed a vine without any flower,
andolan, a gentle swing on specific notes, used selectively and a woman without any ornament.
gamaka, a heavy to-and-fro oscillation involving two or three distinct
notes —Natya Shastra 29.75
khatka/gitkari, a rapid rendition of a cluster of notes distinctly yet lightly
Bharata Muni (200 BCE-200 CE)[1]
murki, an even lighter and more subtle rendition of a cluster of notes

Other definitions
Alankara also refers to:

a pattern on a swara group within a given octave, in ancient Indian music.[2]

a type of exercise based on the 7 main talas and their variations.[2] 1/2
4/25/2018 Alankar - Wikipedia

1. Lewis Rowell (2015). Music and Musical Thought in Early India (
&pg=PA162). University of Chicago Press. pp. 162–164. ISBN 978-0-226-73034-9.
2. Prof. P Sambamoorthy (2005), South Indian Music - Vol I, Chennai, India: The Indian Music Publishing House, p. 51
3. Neil Sorrell; Ram Narayan (1980). Indian Music in Performance: A Practical Introduction (
oks?id=jNhRAQAAIAAJ). Manchester University Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-7190-0756-9.
4. David J. Hargreaves; Adrian North (2002). Musical Development and Learning (
bqvAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA61). Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 61–63. ISBN 978-1-84714-362-4.
5. Bruno Nettl; Ruth M. Stone; James Porter; et al. (1998). The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: South Asia : the
Indian subcontinent ( p. 216. ISBN 978-0-8240-4946-1.

External links
Raag Hindustani - Embellishment (

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This page was last edited on 25 January 2018, at 00:37.

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