"Khayal" emerged over the centuries as the vernacular (language/dialect) and romantic version of "dhrupad" - the oldest existing vocal religious and aristocratic style. A Khyal is a two- to eight-line lyric set to a melody.
Khyals are popular for depicting the emotions between two lovers, situations of ethological significance in Hinduism and Islam, or other situations evoking intense feelings. The importance of the Khyal's content is for the singer to depict, through music in the set raga, the emotional significance of the Khyal. The singer improvises and finds inspiration within the raga to depict the Khyal. ---
The greatest interpreters of "khayal" documented on record were probably the Pakistani brothers Nazakat Ali Khan and Salamat Ali Khan, who debuted in 1941. ---
Taranas are medium- to fast-paced songs that are used to convey a mood of elation and are usually performed towards the end of a concert. They consist of a few lines of poetry with soft syllables or bols set to a tune. The singer uses these few lines as a basis for fast improvisation ---
Miyan Tansen, who lived at the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16th century, is credited with codifying Hindustani (north Indian) vocal music, notably the dhrupad style that he learned from his teacher Swami Haridas. He composed the Darbari Kanada, Miyan ki Todi, Miyan ki Malhar and Miyan ki Sarang ragas. Among the greatest Hindustani vocalists before the partition of India and Pakistan were Bade Ali Khan from Punjab and Amir Khan from north-central India.