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Reply with quote  #1 
Here is a link to a performance by Uday Bhawalkar: 

My questions are, when does each part end and begin (aalaap, vilambit, vilambit end, and drut)?

Here are the definitions of the four terms from a book called Nuances of Hindustani Classical Music.
  • "Aalaap--This is a short introductory portion of the performance where words are not used and only various notes in the chosen raag are vocalised as 'aa' defining the note pitches, moving in a sequence typical of that raag. Here the taal or rhythm is yet to begin."

  • "Vilambit--The second part begins with slow vocalising of the words of the chosen raag composition set to a slow rhythm. This session is quite long and can be enjoyable if acquainted with the nuances."

  • "Vilambit End--Towards the end of vilambit laya, the rhythm increases with a discernible step and some urgency is palpable. New musical ornaments are used and the raag is further elaborated."

  • "Drut--This is the concluding part of the presentation and the composition changes and the rhythm is fast. The final part climaxes at a point which takes the listeners to an exciting finish."

I have listened to the performance, and here are my guesses:

Aalaap (00:00 - 6:12); Vilambit (6:12-39:20); Vilambit end (39:20-43:19); and Drut (43:19-end). I am a beginner to Hindustani music, so I don't know if these are correct. Could you check these timestamps? I would be deeply grateful for your help.  


Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #2 
This is dhrupad, which is a little different in style and construction. In dhrupad vocal performances, the end of the alap is usually indicated when the singer sings "Ta Na, Tum Na".

From the web:

"One of Dhrupad's distinct characteristics is its long elaborate alaap which can last up to an hour. It is generally broken up into 3 sections; alap (unmetered), the jor (with steady rhythm) and the jhala (accelerating strumming). Here specific syllables are used rather than Aakar (Aa) or sargams (SRGMPDNS)."

Tomek Regulski

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Posts: 80
Reply with quote  #3 
To expand on the above, the terminology that you are reading about (alap, vilambit, etc.) is descriptive of a khayal performance. You might look to singers like Kishori Amonkar to find this kind of framework in practice. 

This video is dhrupad, which follows a different structure. The alap actually makes up the largest part of it, with three sections:
alap: gradual exploration of the raag structure without any regular rhythmic pulse
jor: starts at 12:45, and introduces a regular rhythmic pulse
jhalla: starts at 43:20, and introduces a faster rhythmic pulse, as well as the use of gamak, and optional introduction of the pakhawaj accompanient, as they do here.

After all this, there will be one or several compositions, typically in chautal and dhammar. This begins at 1:05:00 in the above video.

I hope this helps! 


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