Khyal

Khyal or Khayal (Hindi: ख़्याल, Urdu: خیال) is the modern genre of classical singing in North India. Its name comes from an Arabic word meaning "imagination" and the style is imaginative, elaborate and romantic.

Khyal is thought to have developed out of the qawwali singing style. It appeared more recently than dhrupad, is a more free and flexible form, and it provides greater scope for improvisation. Like all Indian classical music, khyal is modal, with a single melodic line and no harmonic parts. The modes are called raga, and each raga is a complicated framework of melodic rules. Khyal compositions are rendered in a highly ornamental style using all forms of gamakas (embellishments), making its texture delicate and light.