One of the themes in Hindustani song-texts pertain to the very elements that form a part of the music-making process.  Vaggyekars or composers, who create the musical framework for compositions and also write the lyrics, have composed pieces that are a tribute to music.  Some of these place music on a mystical plane, portraying the act of making music as the perfect medium to attain oneness with the Almighty or the Universal Truth.  But there are others that mention terms that are regularly used in musical parlance and form a part of the theoretical and pedagogical framework of Hindustani music.

Kesarbai Kerkar
Sur Sangat Raag Vidya 

Sur Sangat Raag Vidya is a traditional composition in raag Tilak Kamod.  Set to Rupak taal, a time-cycle with seven matras or time-units, the sthayi or first part of this composition emphasises the practical aspect of music by stating that possessing the knowledge of raags is not enough, that singing tunefully through a practical demonstration is of utmost importance for the seniors to accept the performer's calibre as a knowledgeable musician.

Kesarbai Kerkar, the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana titan, sings this composition in a live concert.  The composition is almost an affirmation of Kesarbai Kerkar’s supreme confidence as a performer.  The antara or second part of the composition moving to the upper octave mentions terms like anudrut, guru, laghu, pluta, which refer to rhythmic divisions in a taal.

Jnan Prakash Ghosh
Raag Rageshree 

The next track features a bandish or composition in raag Rageshree composed by Jnan Prakash Ghosh, the famous pedagogue and prolific composer.  Raag and ragini are personified as singers, who create an auspicious and colourful environment.  The antara describes the musical atmosphere charged with the sounds of instruments like the mridang (horizontal double-faced cylindrical drum), the jhanj (cymbals) and the bowed fretless sarangi (the word used in the text is ‘sarang’) and with the inclusion of taan or swift melodic passage, gamak or rapid oscillation on the swaras or notes, and meend or long glides connecting swaras.

Set to the 12-matra Ektaal, Jnan Prakash Ghosh’s disciple and popular Patiala gharana vocalist Ajay Chakrabarty renders this composition with a series of taans, gamaks and meends, when those terms appear in the composition.

Kumar Gandharva
Raag Bhimpalasi 

The three tracks that follow feature renowned vocalist Kumar Gandharva.  This is a detailed exposition of his vilambit or slow composition set to Ektaal in raag Bhimpalasi.  The intensity in the rendition is palpable as he draws out the essence of the raag through each melodic phrase while evoking the image of one who is consious of the difficult path of making music and remains humbled by this experience as is expressed through the song-text.

The third track ends with a madhya laya or medium tempo composition in the same raag set to Teentaal, a cycle of 16 matras.