compositions in Carnatic music have three parts to
their body. The first two lines of the song
(sometimes-just one) are called
They occur over and over, especially after each
stanza. Usually the
is followed by two more lines or sometimes just one
more. This portion is called
Anu Pallavi. This
is sung at the beginning for sure, but sometimes
even during the end of the song, but not necessarily
after each stanza. The stanzas of a song are called
It is a composition
usually sung or played at the beginning of a recital
and reveals the general form of the Raga. The Varnam
is made up of two parts: 1) the
or first half and 2) the
or second half. The two halves are almost equal in
Kriti: It is a
highly evolved musical song set to a certain raga
and fixed tala or rhythmic cycle.
Ragam: It is a
melodic improvisation in free rhythm played without
It is another style of
melodic improvisation in free rhythm.
Pallavi: This is a
short pre-composed melodic theme with words and set
to one cycle of tala. Here the soloist improvises
new melodies built around the word pallavi.
It is the section
where the Pallavi is played in three tempi keeping
the Tala constant.
is the improvised section performed with the drummer
in medium and fast speeds.
This is the final part of the Pallavi where the
soloist improvises freely and comes back to the
original theme at the end.