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Glossary of Indian Music (Part – 10)

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Collection by: Gurumayum Shivachandra Sharma
Cultural Activist
1. Guru Shishya Parampara: In Pan-Indian tradition, the Guru Shishya Parampara is the traditional schooling method of learning between Guru (teacher) and Shishya (student or pupils) in all forms of Indian Culture including the Indian Classical Music. In these traditions, the Guru would impart knowledge on his Shishyas that he had gained from his former Guru thus maintaining a lineage of artists and protection of the musical material upon which the style was based through oral tradition.
2. Guru: The word Guru is a Sanskrit word that means a “mentor, guide, expert, or master” of certain field having well experience and knowledge. In PanIndian traditions, a Guru is more than a ordinary teacher, traditionally, the Guru is a reverential figure to the disciple or student, with the Guru serving as a ‘counselor’ who helps mold values, shares experiential knowledge as much as literal knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who helps in the spiritual evolution of a student. And, etymologically the term Guru to be based on the syllables Gu and Ru, which it claims stands for darkness and “light that dispels it”, respectively. So, Guru is seen as the one who “dispels the darkness of ignorance. There are Three 3 types of Gurus in Indian traditions, they are, a) Aadi Guru, b) Shiksha Guru and c) Diksha Guru respectively.
3. Pandit: The word Pandit is a Sanskrit word that refers to the man with specialised knowledge or a teacher of any field having well knowledge. So, in Indian Classical Music, the Pandit is an honorific title for an expert person in classical singing and instrumental playing, used for an Indian musician. It is used to recognize master performers for classical singing and other performing arts as a Music title. This title is awarded to the musicians by their teachers, prominant individuals, or members of their Gharana in recognition of their expertise. It is mainly used in various languages including Marathi, Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi and other languages. And, an Indian woman, who is an expert in Indian Classical Music is also given the title of Pandita or Vidushi. This title is mainly use by the Hindu communities.
4. Ustad or Ostad: The word Ustad or Ostad originally means ‘teacher’ in Arabic language. It is also an honorific title similar to the Pandit which is mainly used by the Islamic communities. It is used in various languages such as Persian, Azerbaijani, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Dhivehi, Punjabi, Pashto, Turkish, Indonesian, Malay and Kurdish. It is also a title for an expert person in Indian Classical singing and instrumental playing, used for a Muslim musician. This title is awarded to musicians by their teachers, prominent individuals, or members of their Gharana in recognition of their expertise.
5. Shishya: The word Shishya is a Sanskrit word meaning a disciple or follower of a Guru (teacher) seeking for a knowledge. So, in Indian tradition of Guru Shishya Parampara, a younger person or student or pupils who is guided and supported by someone (Guru) with greater experience or influence are known as the Shishyas.
6. Gaayak: The word Gaayak is a Hindi word that means the singer or vocal performer. According to Shri Shubhankara’s Indian Music Shastra Sangeet Damodara, there are Three 3 types of Gaayak in Indian Music, they are, a) Uttama Gaayak (a good quality singer having a good tonal quality with a perfect Classical knowledge), b) Madhyama Gaayak (a normal singer having a talent but not good in Classical knowledge) and c) Adhama Gaayak (a singer without any Classical knowledge but perform himself in a free style tradition). But, according to Pandit Sarangadeva’s Indian Music Shastra Sangeet Ratnakar, in addition to these Three 3 Gaayaks, there are altogether Six 6 types of Gaayaks, the three remaining Gaayaks are d) Panchvidha Gaayak, e) Trividha Gaayak and f) Gaayani Gaayak (representing the female singers) respectively.
7. Chalan: In Indian Music, an extensive series of Swaras pattern which summarises the development of a particular Raag is commonly known as the Chalan. So, it is the makeup of a musical composition, which embodies the movement of a particular Raag. For example, the Chalan of Raag Bridabani Saranga can be decorate as “Ni. Sa Re Ma Re Pa Ma Re Ni. Sa”.
8. Anga: The word Anga means a sub division or a part of whole in general concept. So, in the tradition of Indian Music, one of the two parts or Tretra chords of an octave is commonly known as the Anga. And, also in Indian Music theory, the Anga is generally divided into Two sections, namely, a) Poorbanga (the lower sub division, Sa to Ma) and b) Uttaranga (the upper sub division, Pa to Taar Sa) respectively.
9. Avirbhava and Tirobhava: In Indian Classical Music, the Avirbhava is to make visible the original form of the Raag and the Tirobhava is deviating from the original form of the Raag by showing glimpses of a nearby Raag.
10. Rasa: The words Rasa simply means the taste of art or moods. So, in Indian Music, the essence, taste or aesthetic flavour or moods of Indian Musical Concept is generally known as the Rasa or Sangeet Rasa. According to Bharata Muni’s Natya Shastra, there are Nine 9 Rasas, namely, a) Shringara Rasa (love or beauty or romantic moods), b) Hashya Rasa (laughter or comedic moods),
c) Karuna Rasa (sorrow or sad moods), d) Raudra Rasa (anger moods), e) Veera Rasa (heroism or courage or bravery moods), f) Bhayanaka Rasa (terror or fear moods), g) Bibhatsha Rasa (disgusting moods), h) Adbhuta Rasa (surprise or wondering moods) and lastly, i) Shanta Rasa (peace or tranquility moods) respectively. In addition to these Rasas, two Rasas are also added by the succeeding Indian Music Scholars, the remaining Two 2 Rasas are namely, j) Batsalya Prem Rasa (moods of maternal love) and k) Bhakti Rasa (devotional moods) respectively. Therefore, nowadays there are altogether Eleven 11 Rasas in Indian Classical Music.

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