Definition of alap
: an improvised, unaccompanied prelude to an Indian raga normally lacking rhythmic pulse and meter that is either played or sung as vocalise The practice of beginning musical pieces with a seemingly free-form introduction that becomes a metered ensemble performance is common to India in the alap of a raga in classical Hindustani music …— Leonard Brown, John Coltrane and Black America’s Quest for Freedom, 2010
Keep scrolling for more
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
Words at Play
- 'Conscience' vs. 'Conscious': Let Us Be Your Guide
- Hot Enough for You? Words for the Summer Heat
- Where Does 'Run-of-the-Mill' Come From?
- The Provenance of 'Providence'
Ask the Editors
- On Contractions of Multiple Words
- A Look at Uncommon Onomatopoeia
- Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice?
- Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz Take the quiz
- Obscure Shapes Take the quiz
- True or False? Take the quiz
- Citation Play the game