Music Handbook




Chakra   Literally, wheel or cycle. In Carnatic music, the word refers to the 12 sub-cycles of the 72 Melakarta system.  
Chapu Tala   A popular Tala used in concerts. A group of syncopated rhythmic cycles not belonging to the systems of 7, 35, or 175 Talas. There are two varieties of Chapu tala - Misra, of seven counts and Khanda of five counts.  
ChapuTol   The inner layer of the right drumhead of the Mridangam.  
Charanam   The concluding (third) part of any composition or Kriti in the Carnatic tradition.  
Chatura Kallinatha   15th century author of the commentary named Kalanidhi on the Sangeeta Ratnakara.  
Chaturasra   One of the five Jatis, with four counts.  
Chaturasra Laghu   The variety of Laghu that consists of a beat followed by three finger counts, thus making for four counts (Akshara-kalas).  
Chaturdandi Prakasika   A famous treatise written by Venkatamakhi, around the year 1635, with a detailed description of the Melakarta organization. The treatise is in Sanskrit and also handles subjects like Veena, Sruti, Swara, Mela, Raga, Alapa, Laya, Prabandha, Gitaprabandha and so on. The organization of seventy-two Melakartas is a remarkable arrangement of musical scales and is quite unique. Venkatamakhi does not give the total system any detailed nomenclature. He merely leaves them classified in seventy-two scales. The later Kanakambari nomenclature kept the Mela and the Raga apart. This began to be used not earlier than 1735.  
Chatusruti Rishabha (R2)   The perfect major second, with a frequency ratio of 9/8. The term is used only in Carnatic music. In Hindustani music, this note is called the Suddha Rishabha.  
Chitravina   A stringed instrument shapted like the Vina, but with no frets. It requires the player to have a perfect musical ear. Since there are no frets, there is no lateral deflection of the strings as in the Vina. Instead, a solid cylinder (Gottu) is held in the left hand, and used to slide over the strings. The instrument needs to be tuned to a higher tension, and consequently, a higher pitch, than the Vina. There are six main strings, three Tala strings and twelve sympathetic vibration strings. As in the Vina, the main playing strings are plucked downwards and the Tala strings are plucked upwards. See also Gotu and Gotuvadyam.  
Chittaswara   A passage of set Swara patterns with a highly sonorous appeal, attached to a Kriti, sung after the Anupallavi and the Charanam. These Swara passages are usually composed by the composer of the Kriti. There are a few instances when such passages have been appended to some Kritis by later composers.  
Clarinet   A woodwind instrument with a two and a half octave range. It has a single reed with keys.  
Cymbals   A percussion instrument made from bell metal or brass, used for keeping Tala. It consists of a pair of round discs which, when struck together, is used in nagaswaram concerts, Bhajan singing and congregational music.


A B D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V 

Chakra Chart

Melakarta Chart

Raga Index

Varnam Index

Kriti Index

Addresses of artistes

Addresses of Organisations