Alankaras are meaningful and beautiful arrangements of swara groups. This was a major feature in ancient music. Alankaras find mention in ‘Vayu Purana’ and a few others. Later texts do not find mention of alankaras, only gamakas are mentioned. In ancient works, alankaras were of great importance.
‘Visishtta Varna Sandarbham Alankaaram Prachakshate|’
Sarangadeva in his ‘Sangeeta Ratnakaram’ mentions 5 different types of Alankaras:
- Arohi Alankaram: Those which appear in ascending order.
Eg: SS RR GG MM
- Avarohi Alankaram: Those which appear in descending order.
Eg: SS NN DD PP MM
- Sthayi Alankaram: It also involves starting and ending on same note.
Eg: SRS, RGR, GMG etc.
- Sanchari Alankaram: A mixture of all the above types.
- Sapta Alankaram:
Sri Ahobala in his ‘ Sangeeta Paarijatam’ mentions sulaadi sapta tala alankaras. This is what we all follow till date.
Venkatamakhi in his ‘Chaturdandi Prakasika’ adds one more tala to the sapta tala scheme set i.e., Jhumpata Tala.