In Indian Classical Music, Gaayak and Naayak are titles given to the artists.
Naayak and Naayaki
Naayaki sangeet is considered superior to standard classical music composition. The artist who gives his valuable contribution, who improvises, re-invents, vividly treats and analyses a composition is called a Naayak. A Naayak must necessarily be a ‘Vaggeyakaar’. In ‘Sangeet Ratnakar’, Pt. Sharangdevji has listed the qualities of a vaggeyakaar. A Naayak preserves tradition, enriches it with re-invention. Therefore, a Gaayak need not be a Naayak, but a Naayak is, invariably a Gaayak. A Naayak is proficient in the science of music.
Gaayak and Gaayaki
Naayaki is the substratum or base of gaayaki. Both these wordsare actually interconnected. In presenting his gaayaki, a singer embellishes/adorns his style with words, swars and laya. He creates/ develops his style by including all aspects of tradition and by using his imagination, experience and inspiration. gaayaki is directly related to aavishkaar (invention).The same cannot be said about naayaki. That’s why we come across the improvisations of a single raga in various styles of gaayaki from different Gharanas. The composermust be a proficient musician. A Naayak need not be a mehefil singer (one who sings on stage). Gaayaks today are multi-talented. They incorporate varied gaayakis to adorn their own gaayaki. Therefore, we rarely find the original form of gaayaki used in olden days in modern compositions.