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Carnatic Glossary N - listed here are terms beginning with N. If you find a Carnatic term that isn't listed, just send a note.


na - abbreviation for shuddha nishaadam (N1)

naabhitam - a gamaka that involves swelling a note in volume and roundness, like a crescendo

Naada Brahmam - Brahmam is god, and naadam is sound, so god is often considered the same as music

naadam - Sanskrit for isai or even oli, or any sounds that are orderly, beautiful and pleasant

naDai - refers to the tempo at which a song is sung, especially of how many aksharas are in a beat. Tishra naDai means that in each beat, there are 3 swaras or aksharas. Not to be confused with gati

nalayira divya prabhandam - a type of sabhaa gaanam which is a collection of 4000 hymns composed by 12 Vaishnava saints (Pogai Alwar, Bhutatalwar, Peialwar, Perialwar, Tirumazhisai Alwar, Tirupanalwar, Tirumangai Alwar, TinDaradipodi Alwar, Nammalwar, Madurakavi Alwar, KulasEkara Alwar, and AaNDaaL and compiled by Nadamuni in the 10th century. The hymns are very devotional and considered as highly as the Vedas among Vaishnavites. These have their own ragas (paNNs) and the 4000 are divided into 4 groups of 1000 each

NaTaraaja - god of dance (bharatanaaTyam), who dances the taanDavam and shakes the worlds when he dances. An incarnation of Shiva, he is said to have killed demons by dancing upon their heads

natural minor - same as the minor scale

navagraha - meaning 9 planets, the navagraha kritis are 9 songs, each composed on a different planet. The most famous are by Dikshitar

naya - a raaga in which the swaroopam is brought out both by aalaapanai and taanam, for example tODi, bhairavi, kaambhOji, shankaraabharaNam, and kalyaaNi

neraval - singing a single line or phrase from a song with varying tunes. This is usually done in the middle of a song, taking a particular phrase and expanding it, while still keeping the words split properly. It may also be performed in various raagas as a raagamaalika

nEtra - the second cakra, which has 6 melakartas that contain M1, R1 and G2, numbered 7-12

ni (1) - abbreviation for nishaadam

ni (2) - abbreviation for kaisiki nishaadam (N2)

night raaga - a raaga meant to be sung only at night time, from 7-10 pm. This includes raagas such as neelaambari and kEdaara gowLa

ni-kai - abbreviation for nirai kaikilai

nirai - refers to a higher pitch of swaras relative to one another, an ancient Tamil term from Silappadigaaram

nirai kaikilai - an ancient Tamil term from Silappadigaaram for antara gaandhaaram

nirai taram - an ancient Tamil term from Silappadigaaram for kaakali nishaadam

nirai tutam - an ancient Tamil term from Silappadigaaram for catshruti rishabam

nirai uzhai - an ancient Tamil term from Silappadigaaram for prati madhyamam

nirai vilari - an ancient Tamil term from Silappadigaaram for catshruti dhaivatam

nishaadaantya - raagas which range only up to the madhya staayi nishaadam, without touching the taara sa

nishaadam - ni, the 7th swara, corresponding to ti of the Western do re mi system. There are three types of ni, shuddha, kaakali, and kaisiki

nissabda - as opposed to sasabda, these taaLa movements make sounds (beats, for example the anudrutam). It is found in sapta taaLas

ni-ta - abbreviation for nirai taram

ni-tu - abbreviation for nirai tutam

ni-u - abbreviation for nirai uzhai

ni-vi - abbreviation for nirai vilari

nonvivaaDi - 32 melakartas are not vivaaDi

note - a note or "English note" is a composition usually composed in the raaga shankaraabharaNam and created with swaras (some also have saahitya). They are called such because the melody sounds very Western. In fact, some are simply Western tunes with Indian lyrics

notes - in Western music, there are 7 basic notes: A B C D E F G, which can be increased by a half-step (sharp, #) or decreased by a half-step (flat, b) to give the full range of notes. A B C D E F G are the white keys on the piano, while intervening notes (A#=Bb, C#=Db, D3=Eb, F#=Gb, G#=Ab) form the black keys. The notes are of defined pitch or shruti

nu - abbreviation for kaakali nishaadam (N3)

nyaasa - swaras on which a phrase in a kriti in a certain raaga may end. sa is a universal nyaasa swara for any raaga. For saavEri, for example, nyaasa swaras are ma, pa, and da

nyaasam - one of the 13 lakshaNas of a raaga that describes what nyaasa swaras the raaga has

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updated on 12/17/2008