The performance is set to a melodic pattern called a Raga (also spelled as Raag) characterized in part by specific ascent (Aaroha) and descent (Avaroha) sequences, which may not be identical. Other characteristics include Key Note (Vaadi) and Secondary Key Note (Samvaadi) notes and characteristic phrases (Pakad). In addition each raga has its natural register (Ambit) and glissando (Meend) rules, as well as features specific to different styles and compositions within the Raaga structure. Performances are usually marked by considerable improvisation within these norms
In Karnataka, Hindustani Classical Music has been pioneered and popularized by legend Pdt.Ganayogi Panchakshara Gavai.With the blessings of Sri Haanagalla Gurukumara Swamiji he has founded his institution Veereshwara Punyashrama at Gadag.Veereshwara Punyashrama a dedicated institution not only for Indian Classical Music but it has also extended services to the society by offering shelter and education to the orphans and blind children. It has produced thousands of musicians, given life to thousands of orphans and blind children. The popular disciple of Ganayogi are Padmabhushana Pdt Puttaraj Gavai, Guru Basavarya Karoor, Pdt.Basavaraj Rajguru, Mrutyunjayswami Puranikmath, Rudrappa Master Kurtakoti etc. After Ganayogi Panchakshara Gavai, Pdt Padmabhushana Puttaraj Gavai has continued his services at Veereshwara Punyashrama by heading the institution after Panchakshara Gavai. Veereshwara Punyashrama has reached its new height in producing Indian classical vocalists under his guidance and serving the orphans and blind children of the society. Some of the popular disciples of Puttaraj Gavai are Siddaramaswami korwar, Chandrashekar Puranikmath, Pdt.Rajguru Guruswami Kalikeri, Veereshwar Madri, BS Math, Somanath Mardur, Eshwar Morgeri, Pdt.M Venkatesh Kumar, Basavraj Gonahal, D Kumar Das, etc.
Raag is the result of inner spirit and emotions of human being. As we say human heart is the play ground of emotions and brain for intelligence, music contains these two. Love, mercy, affection, courage etc., these emotions have deep relations with our heart. These feelings are the base of Indian Classical Music.