Dhrupad thus rejects the more nimble and ornate melodic expressions typical of the vocal genres that succeeded it. An important manifestation of this distinction is its elephantine gait. The pedagogy of dhrupad contains a large inventory of melodic expressions. However, there are four basic techniques that are mentioned here:
For convenience of comprehension, these expressions may be classified into including [a] melodic continuity, and [b] melodic discontinuity. The melodic continuity expressions consist of the minda, suta, and gamaka, while the discontinuous expression is limited primarily to the khataka.
Minda: Minda is a continuous intervallic transition from one svara to another. The melodic contour of this expression can be concave or convex; but never angular. Generally, the word minda is employed for a short-to-medium span intervallic transition.
Suta: Suta is a broad-span continuous intervallic transition that is free from any concavity or convexity. The suta generally navigates tonal distances more briskly than a minda does. This vocal expression has evolved from the ghasita.
Gamaka: Gamaka creates a vivacious effect by repeatedly attacking a svara from a lower svara. The melodic contour of a gamaka is concave. The gamaka is generally used for distances of up to two, and occasionally three svaras. The gamaka is ideally suited for medium-to-high density melodic execution.