Music Handbook




Daivata or Da   The sixth swara (note) in the octave.  
Damaru   An hour-glass-shaped drum, with parchment leather on its two faces. It is usually depicted in the hands of the dancing Nataraja, a form of Siva. The knotted ends of two strings tied at the narrow center of the drum strike the two heads, to produce a rhythmic sound. Damaru is found in all parts of India.  
Dasavatara   The ten Avataras or incarnations of Vishnu. The Carnatic composers like Jayadeva, Purandara Dasa and Tyagaraja have considered Buddha also as an incarnation of Vishnu. So the ten Avataras are Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narashimha, Vamana, Parasurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki.  
Dasavatara Mangalam   A Mangalam song composed by Purandara Dasa.  
Dasavatara Ragamalika   The well-known Swati Tirunal composition, 'Kamalajasya', in ten Ragas, sung in the sequence - Mohanam, Bilahari, Dhanyasi, Saranga, Madhyamavati, Atana, Natakurunji, Darbar, Anandabhairavi, and Sowrashtra.  
Dasavidha Gamaka   The ten kinds of Gamakas or movements, counted in different ways. One well-known list consists of Arohanam, Avarohanam, Dhalu, Sphurita, Kampita, Ahata, Pratyahata, Tripuchha, Andola and Murchana.  
Dattila   Author of the fourth century treatise called Dattilam.  
Desi   Belonging to the country (desa). This term denoted the folk music that was prevalent till the 12th century.  
Dhatu   The melodic aspect of a musical composition.  
Dhrutam   One of the Angas used in reckoning Tala, executed by a clap and a wave. The symbol used is 0.  
Dhruva Tala   The first of the seven basic Talas, consisting of one Laghu, one Dhrutam and two Laghus. Represented by the symbol used is 1011.  
Dhwani   A word that means sound.  
Dirgha   Long - a note/syllable lasting at least two units of time, as opposed to a Hrasva, which lasts only for one unit beat of time.  
Disi   Literally direction, of which there are ten (eight plus up and down). Hence the word denoted the number ten, and is the name of the tenth Chakra of the Melakarta system.  
Divya Prabhandam  

The name given to a group of 4000 verses composed by the twelve south Indian Vaishnava saints. These are in the form of Slokas.

Divyanama Kirtana   Songs sung in praise of God. It is intended for congregational singing and consists of one Pallavi and many Charanams. In most cases, all the passages are sung to the same tune, whether it is the Pallavi or Charanam. This is called the Eka Dhatu Divyanama Kirtana, e.g. ‘Sri Rama Jayarama’ in Yadukulakambodhi, composed by Tyagaraja.  
Dravidians   The people indigenous to the southern part of India.  
Durbala Swaras Those notes in a Raga that are used feebly, without stress or obvious repetition.  
Dvadasha Chakras   The twelve Chakras into which the 72 Melakartas are arranged. Each of these Chakras is made up of six Melas, and is named using a mnemonic system. Thus, the twelve Chakras are, Indu (moon – one), Netra (eyes – two), Agni (fire – the three fires of the maintained by a sacrificer), Veda (the scriptural texts, which are four in number), Bana (arrow –the five arrows of Cupid), Rutu (seasons – six), Rishi (sages – seven), Vasu (a class of gods, eight in number), Brahma (the creator, one for each of nine cycles of creation), Disi (direction – ten), Rudra (a class of gods, eleven in number) and Aditya (a class of gods, twelve in number).



Chakra Chart

Melakarta Chart

Raga Index

Varnam Index

Kriti Index

Addresses of artistes

Addresses of Organisations