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10:56 PM Posted by Vijayasri

What is an alapana ?

An alapana is a term used in Indian Classical Music and can be defined as the exposition of a particular raaga. The flavor of the raaga is outlined in the alapana by rendering the raga's permitted notes in structures and phrases unique to the raga.

Alapana typically precedes a song that is going to be sung in the given raga. Generally, alapana is rendered in different speeds, with a gradual increase in tempo. In Carnatic Music, the alapana is sung in a free-flowing format, without adherence to a specific beat or taalam.

In a Carnatic music concert, the vocalist or instrumentalist may spend anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes or more on the alapana prior to beginning the song that is in that raaga.

Alapana is divided into three parts:

Here is an example video of an alapana of the raaga Poorvi Kalyani by Priya Sisters.


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