Theory of Melody: Creating a melody is a very challenging task. But, there are certain parameters which help in creating a melody. The following are few principles to create a melody through application of ornamental note structures.

  • 1. Different notes behave differently in different octaves i.e. the effect or appeal becomes different. Some Ragas become more temperamental in a particular octave.

  • 2. In ICM Alankar or Ornamental notes play a very significant role towards creation of melody. These are small set of notes i.e. mostly 4-8 notes, which have special expression and selective application of it make the composition very entertaining. Do not just play the notes. Create spacing, rhythm and intra combinations. The pause is just as important as the note. In order to create the Alankars do the following:

    • • Use Badi i.e. prime note and Sambadi i.e. prime helping note of a raga

    • • While creating such Alankars or ornamental notes be careful to observe the restrictions in Ascending or Descending notes. Such short compositions should preferably end with Nyas or Resting notes

    • • The other source of Alankars are the ‘Chalan’ or the characteristic sequence of notes, which actually is the extended Pakad or Identity notes.

    • • Some sequence of of Alankars can lead to Introduction, Verse or Chorus

    • • Sometimes Alankars are best composed when the notes are alternately from Purbanga (Pre) and Uttaranga (Post) having difference of 4-5 notes position.

  • 3. Extempore Improvisation: Different notes become predominant during the 24 hours of a day. Adept application of such notes depending upon the time of live playing can be extremely melodious. Here the selection should be for the Anubadi notes or the Other Helping Notes. The description of the predominance of notes has already been given.

  • 4. The Solo runs are called “Tan” in ICM This demands greater understanding of the structure of the Ragas. Such rigourous structures will be provided in this RagaRockHarmony site from time to time. The main parameters for Solo runs are:

    • • Laid down Restrictions of Raga

    • • Selective Octaves depending upon the mood of the Raga

    • • Usage of the order of frequency of Anubadi notes or Other Helping notes. The degree of frequency of such Other Helping notes will be provided later

    • • The whole composition must be based on the mood of the Raga

    • • Such Solo runs should preferably end with the Resting notes, Badi or Prime note, Sambadi or Prime Helping note or E in general..

    • • The tone should be properly set in accordance with the mood of the raga.

Examples of some Alankars or ornamental note combinations(In the key of E) are

E F# E G# F# G# F# E

F# G# F# A G# A G# F#


G# A G# B A B A G#

E F# A G# F# E


F# G# B A G# F#

A B D# C# B A

G# F# G# F# E