Alap–The opening movement of a Raga performance, delivered free from any Tala, in which all the rules and structures of the Raga are presented in an effort to invoke the emotional characteristics which make the Raga unique and recognizable.

Antara–This melody is paired with the Sthayi and serves as an alternate melody (usually in a higher melodic register) after which the main composition (sthayi) returns.

Bol–a single spoken syllable or a string of syllables that correspond directly to strokes on a percussion instrument. Ex. Dhageterekitetaka

Carnatic–South Indian Classical Music.

Kathak Dance–A Classical Indian dance form in which the dancers wear a large string of ankle bells on each leg. This rhythmic dance form shares many elements with tabla and is a theatrical dance form that uses Indian mythology as a setting in which elements of Raga and Tala combine to give a rich visual and auditory experience to the viewer.

Meend–A particular form of embellishment/ornamentation that involves sliding between notes. The ornamentations are unique to specific Ragas, and deliver the most authentic flavor of Indian Classical music. Meend is not able to be delivered on many western instruments like piano, guitar, trumpet, and vibraphone. Almost every Indian Classical instrument has the ability to create this embellishment and is necessary to give a proper presentation of a Raga.

Raga–The classical Indian melodic system which defines fixed tone-sets, ascending/descending scales, fixed phrases, and rules for ornamentation which combine to convey the specific emotional nuance of a specific Raga. Ex. Yaman

Sam–(sum) The first and most important beat of a Tala. The arrival of Sam is often the point where rhythmic tension is released.

Sthayi–The main fixed composition in a Raga and Tala, that returns in between improvisational sections.

Tala–The rhythmic and cyclic pattern that defines the repetitive form on which improvisation takes place. Ex. Teen Taal

Tihai–A rhythmic tension and release device that repeats a single fixed phrase three times in succession, at the end of which the final stroke of the third phrase lands on Sam, and consequently delivers a strong sensation of suspension and ultimately resolution. The last phrase of an entire Raga performance will often be a Tihai.