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Alankara means "ornament" in Sanskrit and is used in the context of Hindustani classical music to collectively refer to the various embellishment techniques used in both vocal and instrumental music. Some common types of alankar used in classical music are meend (a technique of singing notes in a fluid manner with one note merging into the next - there are many different kinds of meend), kan-swar (grace notes - the use of grace-notes depends on the raga being performed), andolan (a gentle swing on specific notes, used selectively), gamaka (a heavy to-and-fro oscillation involving two or three distinct notes), khatka/gitkari (a rapid rendition of a cluster of notes distinctly yet lightly) and murki (an even lighter and more subtle rendition of a cluster of notes).

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