Music Handbook




Bahutva One of the Trayodasa Lakshanas (thirteen characteristics) of a Raga. It refers to those Prayogas that can be used many times without diminution of significance. There are two varieties - the Abhyasa Bahutva, in which a select group of notes can be used repeatedly; and the Alanghana Bahutva, in which one note is used with premeditation and care and then stressed appropriately.
Bakura A wind instrument mentioned in the Rig-Veda.
Bana Literally, arrow. Denotes the number five, because of the five arrows associated with the God of Love. In Carnatic music, refers to the fifth out of the twelve Chakras in the 72 Melakarta system, comprising the Melas numbered 25-30.
Bani The style of singing or playing characterised by certain special qualities of the performer. Its usage is similar to the word Gharana in Hindustani music.
Bari The longer variety of Nagaswaram, a wind instrument, as contrasted with the shorter variety called Timiri. The Bari has a lower pitch when compared to the Timiri. Also see Nagaswaram.
Bass bar A piece of wood, attached under the bridge, on the inside of bowed instruments like the viola, the violin, the cello, and the double bass. It supports the pressure on the bridge of the violin and smoothes out the notes, distributing the vibrations of the strings equally across the bridge.
Bhagavata Goshti A group of singers singing sacred songs in South India.
Bhajan A devotional song in praise of a god or goddess.
Bhakti Devotion.
Bharata The illustrious author of the Sanskrit text, Natya Shastra, the most ancient treatise dealing with the science of dramaturgy and music. The name is also believed to be an acronym, derived from the words,  'Bhava', Raga' and Tala.
Bhasha One of the Margi Ragas of which there are six in ancient music Sarngadeva mentions them in his Sangita Ratnakara.
Bhashanga Raga A derived scale where one or more foreign notes are used.
Bhatkhande, Vishnu Narayan (1860-1936) One of the greatest musicologists of recent times. He formulated the 10 Thaat system of Hindustani music, in analogy with the 72 Melakarta scheme of Carnatic music.
Bhava A feeling or emotion of aesthetics, without which the very soul of expression in music would be lost.
Bow A stick strung with horsehair that is used to play bowed instruments like the Sarangi and the Violin.
Brahma The Creator, one of the celestial Trinity in Hinduism. There are believed to be nine cycles of creation, and hence, the word is used to denote the number nine. In Carnatic music, refers to the ninth out of twelve Chakras in the 72 Melakarta system, comprising the Melas 49-54.
Bridge The piece of wood in a stringed instrument on which the strings are stretched.
Brihaddesi A musical treatise of the fifth century by Matanga. The Jatis of the time of Bharata had become outdated in Matanga's time, and Ragas had taken their place. Brihaddesi gives a lucid account of Raga classification, such as Suddha, Chhayalaga, Sankirna and so on. There is a section on Nadotpatti or the origin of Nada, Sruti, Swara Murchhana, Varna, Alankara, Giti, Jati, Raga, Bhasha Prabandha etc. It is also said to have had a chapter on musical instruments which is now lost.



Chakra Chart

Melakarta Chart

Raga Index

Varnam Index

Kriti Index

Addresses of artistes

Addresses of Organisations