Music Handbook




Jaati   In contemporary Carnatic music, refers to the five kinds of Laghus used in Talas. There are five of these –Chaturasra (4 counts), Tisra (3 counts), Misra (7 counts), Khanda (5 counts) and Sankeerna (9 counts). Thus, the application of these five kinds to the 7 basic Talas results in 35 Tala system. In the Natya Sastra, the term is used as a melodic attribute, but this had already gone out of vogue during the time of Matanga. See also Brihaddesi.  
Jalatarangam   Literally, water waves. Name of a musical instrument, consisting of china cups filled to varying levels with water. The water level is adjusted to tune each cup to a specific note. The rim of the cup is struck with sticks after tuning, to give a pleasant ringing sound. This is often used in small ensembles and for orchestral support. The dexterity to play this instrument is one of the traditionally enumerated 64 arts.  
Janaka Raga   A parent raga. The three conditions for a parent Raga are - it should be Sampoorna in both ascent and descent, employing seven notes; it should not have any zig-zag patterns (Vakratva) in it; and the ascent and descent should use the same set of seven notes. There are 72 Janaka Ragas. See also Melakarta.  
Janaka-Janya   The classification of Ragas into parent and derivative ragas, analogous to the genus-species system of classification. See Janaka Ragas and Janya Ragas.  
Janta Swaras   A note that is repeated twice, e.g. Sa-Sa, Ri-Ri, Ga-Ga etc. These are part of the scale exercises taught to the beginning student.  
Janya Raga   A Raga that is derived from a parent scale, by either omitting notes from the parent scale, or by introducing a zig-zag pattern, or by adding alien notes that are not present in the original parent scale.  
Jati   Pronounced with a short a – the syllables used to count rhythmic patterns, e.g. tari kita naka etc.  
Jatiswaram   A composition that used only the Sa Ri Ga notation for the notes and rhythmic syllables like tari taka, ta-din-gin-na-tom etc. It has no words, but there are the usual Pallavi, Anupallavi and Charanam divisions. Widely used in dance recitals.  
Javali   A Kannada word, meaning an earthy and sensuous erotic song. It is distinguished from the Padams, in which love and erotic sentiment is treated with more gravity. In Javali, love is light, provocative, flippant and sometimes even lewd and bawdy. It is usually set to bright and attractive tunes in well-known Ragas, and sung in medium or slow tempo.  
Jew’s Harp   A rhythmic instrument. See Morsing.  
Jiva   Literally, life. Also known as Jawari. It is the fine thread that is inserted between the bridge and the strings of the Tambura. The sound texture and quality are enriched by this means, giving the Tambura the enveloping sound that is vital to the performance of music.  
Jiva Swara   The note that imparts the central character to the Raga. This could be the same as a Nyasa Swara of the Raga, though not necessarily so.  
Jod   In Hindustani music, a rendition of an Alapa with an inbuilt Laya and rendered in the medium tempo. This is performed principally on instruments and in the nom tom alap of dhammar and dhrupad. This is similar to the Tanam singing in Carnatic music.  
Jugalbandi   A performance of two instrument players or singers. It spaces out a performance, dividing its progressions in a shared manner. In the Carnatic tradition, this is termed Jodippattu.


A B C D E F G H I 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