What is a Raga ? To put it in simple terms, a combination of swara-s in certain order of ascent called arohana and descent called avarohana. Essentially it must have some aesthetically melodic content. AlApana is a means to communicate to the audience, the flavor or the bhAva of the rAga through the permitted notes and its phrases.An alapana, is the exposition of a raaga or tone – a slow improvisation with no rhythm. In presenting a phrase of Alapana, the swaras are not spell out as such, but spell out as certain syllables like tha dha ri na.