Alap

The alap (Hindi pronunciation /IPA|ɑːlɑːp/, English pronunciation /IPA|ælɑːp/) is the opening section of a typical North Indian classical performance. It is unmetered, improvised (within the raga) and unaccompanied (except for the tanpura drone), and started at a slow tempo. In instrumental performance and dhrupad singing, this part receives heavy emphasis and can last for more than an hour; in the more popular modern vocal style of khyal, generally less so.

Instead of wholly free improvisation, many musicians perform alap schematically, for example by way of "vistar", where the notes of the raga are introduced one at a time, so that phrases never travel further than one note above or below what has been covered before. In such cases, the first reach into a new octave can be a powerful event.

When a steady pulse is introduced into the alap, it is called jor; when the tempo has been greatly increased, or when the rhythmic element overtakes the melodic, it is called jhala (dhrupad: "nomtom"). The jor and jhala can be seen as separate sections of the performance, or as parts of the alap; in the same way, jhala can be seen as a part of jor.

(Several musicologists have proposed much more complicated classifications and descriptions of alap. In the same way as traditional four-part compositions have a "sthai", "antara", "sanchar" and "abhog", some treat alap with a four-part scheme using the same names. Bengali researcher Bimalakanto Raychoudhuri in his "Bharatiya Sangeetkosh" suggests classification both by length ("aochar" being the shortest, followed by "bandhan", "kayed" and "vistar") and by performance style (according to the four ancient "vanis" or singing styles – "Gohar", "Nauhar", "Dagar" and "Khandar"), and proceeds to list thirteen stages:

# "Vilambit"
# "Madhya"
# "Drut"
# "Jhala"
# "Thok"
# "Lari"
# "Larguthav"
# "Larlapet"
# "Paran"
# "Sath"
# "Dhuya"
# "Matha"
# "Paramatha"

Even though Raychoudhuri admits the 13th stage is wholly extinct today, as we see we are in jhala already at the fourth stage; the sthai-to-abhog movement is all part of the first stage (vilambit); stages six and up are said to be for instrumentalists only. Other authorities have forwarded other classifications. For example, when alap is sung with lyrics or at least syllables, as in dhrupad, it is called "sakshar" as opposed to "anakshar".)

ee also

* Alapana
* Hindustani classical music
* Buka


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • alap — /ə läpˈ/ noun In Indian music, the introductory section of a raga (also alaapˈ or alapˈa) ORIGIN: Sans …   Useful english dictionary

  • ALAP — ALAP акроним (англ. As Last As Possible  точно к сроку)  производственный метод распределения заданий выпуска продукции. Задания на выпуск продукции автоматически распределяются начиная с самой поздней подходящей по времени… …   Википедия

  • Alap — Original name in latin Alap Name in other language Alap State code HU Continent/City Europe/Budapest longitude 46.79914 latitude 18.68938 altitude 107 Population 2149 Date 2012 05 06 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • alapələx’ — (Ağdam, Bərdə, Şuşa, Tərtər) bax alapələ. – Səkinənin qızı alapələx’ geyinif toyə:lmişdi (Ağdam) …   Azərbaycan dilinin dialektoloji lüğəti

  • alapələng — (Kürdəmir) bax alapələ. – A Əşrəf, nə alapələng geyipsən? …   Azərbaycan dilinin dialektoloji lüğəti

  • alap — Acronym for As Long As Possible. He had to take the abuse, threats, and taunts in order to keep the money flowing ALAP …   Dictionary of american slang

  • alap — [α: lα:p] (also alaap) noun (in Indian music) the improvised section of a raga, forming a prologue to the formal expression. Origin from Hindi alāp …   English new terms dictionary

  • alap — /aˈlap/ (say ah lahp) noun the initial improvisatory section of a raga. {Hindi (from Sanskrit) ālāp} …   Australian English dictionary

  • alapələng(i) — sif. Xallı, butalı, güllü, üzərində iri butalar olan çit, yaylıq, dəsmal və s. // Rəngləri bir birinə uymayan, alabəzək. Bir də görürsən geyib alapələngi köynək. R. R …   Azərbaycan dilinin izahlı lüğəti

  • AlaP — alafosfalin …   Medical dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.