[a] Bola: The poetic form, representing a vast range of themes, which binds together the melodic and rhythmic elements in the composition.
[b] Saragama: The use of solfa symbols as textural consonants in the improvisatory movements.
[c] Akara: The vowel a used in the improvisatory movements.
These three forms of articulation play collective, as well as individual, roles in the performance of khayala compositions. At the purely phonetic level, they provide the musician with three distinct textural devices. The saragama device uses only consonants, and the range is limited to seven. The akara has only one vowel, though individual styles can occasionally vary the articulation slightly.
The three forms of articulation also symbolize three different levels of abstraction in terms of meaning. The saragama represents musical meaning, by virtue of direct correspondence between the intonation and the articulation. The akara, being a vowel phonetic, is totally abstract, with the meaning being provided only by the melodic contours of the intonation. The use of the three forms of articulation is guided by aesthetic considerations, and by the stylistic inclinations of individual gharanas and vocalists.
The saragama is used mainly in medium density movements. In such movements, it offers a textural selection for the poetic form. It tends not to be used in very high-density melodic movements because consonants militate against high-frequency articulation. The Akara articulation is the most versatile. Being a vowel form, it is most useful in movements where the melody is not required to express much rhythm. Such movements are the low srara-density alapa and the high-density tanas.
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