Music Handbook




Sabha   An organisation that gives patronage to music/dance.  
Sabha gana   Denotes singing in a sabha or to a large audience - public concert.
Sadhana   Is a word commonly used to indicate practice
Sahitya Lyrics or prosody
Samasthana or Asthana vidwan Refers to a musician recognized by the royal court or a respected musical establishment.
Sampoorna Jati / Raga   Refes to a raga that has all the seven notes in it.
Samvadi   Refers to the relationship between any given swara (which becomes the vadi swara) to its perfect fourth or perfect fifth. Eg. The relationship between Sa and Ma or Sa and Pa, where Sa is the Vadi swara and Ma/Pa become the Samvadi swara.  

Literally means motion. In music, it indicates a manner of exploration of the terrain of a raga with a particular gait, geometry, progression and rest.

Sangeeta or Sangita   Is a Sanskrit term that means music. It has two parts, ‘san’, which is derived from 'sam', which means together and 'geet' , which means song.  
Sangeeta Makaranda   Is a treatise on music, by Narada around the ninth century.  
Sangeeta Parijata   A treatise on music, written by Pandit Ahobal around 1750 AD.  
Sangeeta Ratnakara   One of the major treatises on Indian music, written around the thirteenth century, authored by Sarangadeva. It covers a wide area of scholarship and understanding and has influenced all subsequent writings on music.  
Sangeeta Saramrita   Was written by the Maharaja of Tanjavur, Tulaja between1763-68.  
Sangeet upasana   The devoted practice of music.  
Sarani   Refers to the first of the two middle strings of the tambura and is tuned to Shadja, the tonic note.  
Sarangadeva   Was a musicologist who lived between 1175 and 1247 AD and authored the well-known treatise on music Sangeeta Ratnakara.  
Shadava   Refers to a sequence of six notes either in the ascent or descent.  
Shadja or Sa   The very first note of the Indian scale. It is a fixed note with no variable values.  
Shankha   Refers to the conch shell and is believed to be the instrument of Lord Vishnu.
Shehnai   A wind instrument similar to the clarinet, used in Hindustani music. Its Carnatic counterpart is the Nagaswaram.  
Sishya   A student or disciple.  
Sloka   A Sanskrit word for poetry, usually of four lines and considered sacred and powerful.  
Sringara   Is one of the nava rasas (nine emotions) and indicates love.  
Sruti   Refers to the microtonal intervals between notes. Twenty-two such microtonal points have been identified in Carnatic music.  
Solkattu   Refers to the mnemonics of Indian dance, specifically Bharatanatyam.  
Sthayi   Means octave in Carnatic music.  
Suddha   Sanskrit word for pure or untainted.  
Swara   The solfa note in Indian music.  
Swara bedha   Refers to the technique of modal shift of the tonic note.  
Swara lipi   It is the notation or the score of a musical composition. Lipi means script and thus the writing of the swara is a literal translation.  
Swaramela Kalanidhi   A treatise on Carnatic music authored by Ramamatya in 1550.  
Swara prasthara   See Kalpanaswara


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

Chakra Chart

Melakarta Chart

Raga Index

Varnam Index

Kriti Index

Addresses of artistes

Addresses of Organisations