CUET Performing Arts Syllabus 2024

18 March, 2024
parthiva mewawala

CUET Performing Arts Syllabus is designed to completely engage students in the study and participation of multiple branches of performing arts. The students will be introduced to the history, and the craft of acting through the monologues, performance of improvisation, scenes, and fundamental elements of music and dance. The candidates who aim to enroll in the performing arts courses through the CUET UG exam should go through the syllabus for CUET Performing Arts from and cover all the topics included in it. 


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CUET 2024 performing arts syllabus


For CUET performing arts, three central units cover the distinct subcategories. There are three sections and each section comprises sub-sections of the paper. Candidates pursuing the CUET must understand the materials and teachings of the syllabus and the examination topics. Music, dance, and theatre are included in the performing arts, whereas in the visual arts, various materials are applied to produce static or tangible works of art.


Section-wise CUET Performing Arts Syllabus 


Below is the section-by-section CUET 2024 Performing Arts Syllabus. Candidates are recommended to review the syllabus before preparing for the test. 


                    CUET Performing Arts Syllabus – Section A: DANCE

A1: Kathak

  • I. A brief history of Indian dance styles.
  • Understanding Abhinaya and the definition of its four aspects:
  • Angika
  • Vatika
  • Acharya and
  • Satvika
  • III. Acquaintance of the three Gharana of Kathak dance: Lucknow, Jaipur, Banaras.
  • IV.Exploring Rasa: Definition and explanation of nine rasas.
  • V.Knowledge of the key dance terms:
  • Sangeet
  • Tal
  • Laya
  • Angara
  • Bhramari
  • Lokadharmi
  • Natyadharmi,
  • Rasa
  • Bhava.
  • VI. Technical dance terminology:
  • a) Definitions: Vandana, Tihaayi, Aamad, Toda/Tukraa, Paran, Chakardar Toda/Tukraa and Paran, Gatnikas, Gatbhaav.
  • b) Theka of Dadra, Kaharwa, Roopak, Jhap Taal, Teen Taal.
  • c) Tali, Khali, Sam, Tihaayi defined.
  • d) Notation of Tukraa/Toda and Paran. Familiarity with traditional costumes and makeup.

A2: Bharatanatyam Dance

  • I. Life history of key contributors to the Dance form: Rukmini Devi Arundale, Bala Saraswati, Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, Tanjorequartette.
  • II. Contents of Abhinaya Darpana: Chapters and aspects covered in the dance form.
  • III.Knowledge of the key terms:
  • (i) Nritta, Nritya, Natya (Definitions and Sanskrit slokas from Abhinaya Darpana), Tandava (seven tandavas with stories), Lasya, Lokadharmi, Natyadharmi (Definitions with examples),
  • (ii) Sthana, Chari, Mandala, Bhrarmari, Utplavana (Slokas and meaning from Abhinaya Darpana)
  • (iii) Abhinaya: Angika, Vachika, Satvika, Acharya – slokas and meaning from Abhinaya Darpana
  • (iv) Sangeeta, Tala, Laya (Definition, seven teams, three ways),
  • (v) Rasa (Names and English meanings of the nine rasas).
  • IV. Technical terminology of the chosen dance style(anyone to be studied by the Dance style offered):
  • Definitions of the following- (Araimandi, Muzhumandi, Kuttanam, Korvai, Karvai, Adavu, Shollu, Aradhi, Theerumanam, Jati, Jaati, Gati, Avartana, Yati, Taalanga, Thattukazhi, Nattuvangam, Arangetram)
  • V. Traditional costumes and makeup of the selected Dance style.

A3: Kuchipudi Dance

  • I.Brief history and traditional dance forms of the region (other than the one offered for study)
  • II.Life history of prominent exponents of the dance form, past, and present.
  • III.Important terms to know:
  • (i) Nritta, Nritya, Natya, Tandava, Lasya, Lokadharmi, Natyadharmi,
  • (ii) Chaturvidha Abhinaya (Angika, Vachika, Satyika, Acharya), Mukhaja Abhinaya,
  • (iii) Sanchari Bhava, Sattvika Bhava.
  • IV. Compositions and formats in Kuchipudi:
  • Definitions of the following: Rangapuja, Shabnam, Ashthapadi, Kalaapam (Bhaama Kalaapam, Golla Kalaapam).

A4: Odissi Dance

  • I. Elementary knowledge about Chhau dance styles: Mayurbhanj, Seraikella, and Purulia.
  • II. Brief notes on the lives and contributions of Gurus: Pankaj Charan Das, Kelucharan Mohapatra, and Deba Prasad Das.
  • III.Elementary introduction to the texts( Natya Shastra, Abhinaya Darpana, and Abhinaya Chandrika):
  • a) Author identification and approximate date.
  • b) Overview of covered areas in each text.
  • c) Myths on dance origin as per each text.
  • IV. Understanding ABHINAYA:
  • Definition of its four aspects – Angika, Vatika, Acharya, Sattvik.
  • V. Rasa: Definition and explanation of the nine rasas.
  • VI.Short notes on Odissi:
  • a) Acharya (Guru) of Odissi.
  • b) Music accompaniment in Odissi.
  • VII. Explanation of terms:
  • a) Nritta, Nritya, and Natya.
  • b) Matra, Laya, Taal, Avartana, Vibhaga (Anga).
  • c) Tandava and Lasya.
  • d) Natyadharmi and Lokdharmi.
  • VIII. Folk dances of Odisha.

A5: Manipuri Dance 

  • I.Familiarity with the life history of prominent exponents of the dance form, past and present.
  • II.Familiarity with the contents of Abhinaya Darpana.
  • III.Knowledge of the important terms such as:
  • (a) Nritta, Nritya, Natya, Tandava, Lasya, Loka Dharmi, NatyaDharmi.
  • (b) Abhinaya: Angika, Vachika, Aharya, Satvika.
  • (c) Sangeet: Tala, Laya.
  • (d) Rasa: Sthayi Bhava, Sanchari Bhava
  • IV. Technical terms of the style:
  • (a) Chali, Bhangi, Longlei, Uplei.
  • (b) Choloms: Kartal Cholom, Khubak Isei Cholom, Pung Cholom.
  • (c) Sankirtan, Talas, Rajmel, Menkup, Tanchap.
  • (d) Various kinds of Raas.
  • V. Elementary knowledge about Traditional costumes and makeup:
  • (a) Potloi and its components for Radha and Gopis.
  • (b) Krishna’s costume.
  • (c) The traditional makeup for Manipuri classical dances with a special emphasis on Vaishnava Tilak.

A6: Kathakali Dance

  • I.Familiarity with the Life history of great dance masters, both past and present.
  • II. Contents of Hastha Lakshana Deepika and Natyasasthra.
  • III.Important terms to know:
  • (i) Nritta, Nritya, Natya, Tandava, Lasya, Lokadharmi, Natyadharmi.
  • (ii) Anga, Upanga, Prathyanga.
  • (iii) Abhinaya (Angika, Vachika, Satvika, Aharaya) with special emphasis on Hasta-Abhinaya, Mukhaja-Abhinaya, and Netra-Abhinaya.
  • (iv) Sangeeta, Tala, Laya.
  • (v) Rasa, Rasadhrishti, Sthaayibhava, Sthaayidrishti, Sancharibhava, Bhaava, Vibhaava, Anubhaava, Sathvika Bhaava.
  • IV. Technical terminology of the art forms:
  • (a) Mutiyettu, Theyyam, Kootiyaattam, Ramanattam, Krishnattam, Ottanthullal, Kalarippayattu.
  • (b) Hastas – Samyutha, Asamyuta, Mishra, Nanartha from Hastalakshanadipika.


CUET Performing Arts Syllabus – Section B: DRAMA-THEATRE

Unit 1: Modern And Contemporary Indian Theater

I.Survey of Major modern and contemporary styles and works in Hindi/English:

  • Rabindranath Tagore
  • Bhartendu Harishchandra
  • Vijay Tendulkar
  • Mohan Rakesh
  • Dharmveer Bharti
  • Badal Sarkar
  • Shankar Shesh
  • Girish Karnad
  • Chandrashekhar Kambar

II. Review of Indian theatre organizations:

  • National School of Drama (NSD)
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi
  • Zonal Cultural Centres

III. Prominent practitioners of modern Indian Theatre

Unit 2: Modern And Western Theater

I.A survey of significant contemporary styles and works in English or English translation includes the following renowned playwrights: Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, George Bernard Shaw, Eugene O’Neill, Eugène Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard

Unit 3: Theatre Production – Management And Performance

I.Readings for Theatre management and marketing

Unit 4: Survey Of Acting Theory And Practice

I.Reading Strasberg and Stanislavsky

Unit 5: Survey Of Acting Theory And Practice

I. Readings on play production

Unit 6: Theatre Production

  1. Studying the history of theatre architecture
  2. Readings on production design- colour theory, sets, costumes, and lighting

Unit 7: Developing And Documenting The Research Project

  1. Instances of research projects in different aspects of theatre
  2. Choosing the scope of an individual project, utilizing a variety of media and sources


CUET Performing Arts Syllabus -Section C: MUSIC

C1: Hindustani Melodic

Unit 1:

  • Briefly study the concepts of Gram, Murchhana, Varna, Alankar, Alap, and Tana in Indian classical music.
  • Explore the techniques of Gamak, Meend, Kan, Khatka, Murki, Krintan, Zamzama, Ghaseet, and Sut in Indian classical music.
Unit 2:

  • Examine the classification of Ragas in terms of their ancient, medieval, and modern origins.
  • Investigate the historical development of the Time Theory of Ragas.
Unit 3:

  • Conduct a detailed study of the musical texts “Sangeet Ratnakar” and “Sangeet Parijat.”
  • Explore the life sketches and contributions of renowned musicians such as Inayat Khan, Mushtaq Ali Khan, Alauddin Khan, and Abdul Halim Zafar.
Unit 4:

  • Provide a comprehensive description of prescribed Talas, including Jhaptala, Rupak, Tilwada, and Dhamar, along with their respective notations and variations.
  • Study of the various parts and tuning of the chosen musical instrument.
Unit 5:

  • Conduct a critical analysis of prescribed Ragas, recognizing Ragas from Swara phrases and elaborating on their characteristics. (Raag description, Raag Recognition- Bhairav Bageshri Shuddha, Sarang Malkauns)

C1: Hindustani Vocal

Unit 1:

  • Conduct a brief study of Alankar, Varna, Kan, Meend, Khatka, Murki, and Gamak in Indian classical music.
  • Explore the concepts of Sadra, Dadra, Gram, Murchhana, Alap, and Tana in Indian classical music.
Unit 2:

    • Study the classification of Ragas into Ancient, Medieval, and Modern periods.
  • Examine the historical development of the Time Theory of Ragas.
Unit 3:

  • Conduct a detailed study of the musical texts “Sangeet Ratnakar” and “Sangeet Parijat.”
  • Explore the life sketches and contributions of Abdul Karim Khan, Faiyaz Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and Krishna Rao Shankar Pandit.
Unit 4:

  • Provide a description of prescribed Talas, Tala Notation with That, Dugun, Tigun, and Chaugun including Jhaptala, Rupak, Tilwada, and Dhamar
  • Study the various parts and tuning of the Tanpura, a traditional Indian musical instrument
Unit 5:

  • Conduct a critical analysis of prescribed Ragas by recognizing them from Swara phrases and elaborating on their characteristics.
  • Notate the compositions of prescribed Ragas in musical notation. The prescribed Ragas include Bhairav, Bageshri, Shuddha Sarang, and Malkauns

C2: Carnatic Music (Melodic Instrumental)

Unit 1: History and Theory of Indian Music

  • Gain an understanding of the following Lakshana Granthas: Sangita Saramrita, Sangita Sampradaya Pradarsini, Svaramelakalanidhi, and Ragavibhodha Brihaddesi.
  • Explore the life sketches and contributions of notable figures such as Annamacharya, Swati Tirunal, Kshetrajna, Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer, Patnam Subramanya Iyer, Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar, Mysore Doraiswamy Iyengar, Dwaram Venkataswamy, Naidu Karaikkudi Brothers, and Mysore Vasudevachar.
  • Conduct a brief study of musical forms including Kriti, Tiruppugazh, Padam, Javali, and Tillana.
  • Engage in a detailed study of Manodharma Sangita (improvisational music).
  • Define and explain concepts such as Janaka, Janya system of Ragas, Bhashanga, Upanga, Varja, Vakra Ragas, Gamakas, Arudi, Eduppu, Jati, Prabandham, Grama, Murchchana, Jaati, and Vishesha Prayogas.
  • Describe the prescribed ragas in detail.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write Kriti/kirtan in notation using the prescribed ragas.
  • Provide a description of the construction and basic techniques of playing the chosen instrument.
  • Develop a general understanding of instrument classification and a brief historical overview of the chosen instrument.

C2: Carnatic Music (Vocal)

  • Candidates must develop a foundational understanding of important Lakshana Granthas such as Sangita Saramrita, Sangita Sampradaya Pradarsini, Svaramela Kala Nidhi, Raga Vibodha, and Brihaddesi.
  • Explore the life sketches and significant contributions of renowned figures, including Annamacharya, Kshetrajna, Swati Tirunal, Gopalakrishna Bharati, Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer, Patanam Subramanya Aiyar, Ramnad Srinivasa Iyenger, and Mysore Vasudevachar.
  • Study various musical forms such as Kriti, Padam, Javali, Tillana, Tiruppugazh, and Ragamalika.
  • Engage in a detailed examination of Manodharma Sangita
  • Define and explain important concepts such as Janaka-Janya ragas, Bhashanga, Upanga, Varja, Vakra ragas, Gamakas, Arudi, Eduppu, Prabandham, Grama, Murchana, and Jaati.
  • Gain knowledge of the lakshanas (characteristics) prescribed in practical activities.
  • Demonstrate the ability to notate Kriti/kirtana compositions in the prescribed ragas.
  • Concisely describe concert instruments, including their construction and playing techniques.
  • Understand the general classification of musical instruments.

C3: Rabindra Sangeet

  • Gain proficiency in the Akar Matrik Notation System used in Rabindra Sangeet.
  • Explore Rabindranath Tagore’s life and musical compositions, including his contributions to various other types of music.
  • Study the life sketches and musical contributions of prominent figures:
  • a. Atul Prasad Sen
  • b. b) Kazi Nazrul Islam
  • c. c) Girish Chandra Ghosh

Delve into the history of one of the following:

  • a. Regional folk songs such as Bhatiali, Baul, Jhumur, Bhawaiya
  • b. Kirtan.

C4: Percussion

Unit 1:

  • A brief explanation of Hindustani percussion terms:
  1. Uthan
  2. Peskhar
  3. Chakradar and
  4. Baant.
  • Comparative analysis of the following talas:
  1. Chautala-Ektala
  2. Jhaptala-Sultana
  3. Teentala-Tilwada
Unit 2:

  • Introduction to Layakari and its various forms.
  • A concise overview of the Gharanas (schools) of Tabla or Pakhawaj.
Unit 3:

  • Historical background of Tabla or Pakhawaj.
  • A brief history of Hindustani music in the Medieval and Modern periods, with a focus on percussion instruments.
Unit 4:

  • Biographies of renowned artists such as Pandit Kishan Maharaj, Ustad Karamatullah Khan, and Ustad Zakir Hussain
  • Salient features of style and biographies of
  1. Raja Chhatrapati Singh
  2. Guru Purushotam Das
  3. Pandit Pagal Das
Unit 5:

  • Notation writing of prescribed talas and compositions.
  • Identification of talas from given excerpts and compositions.
  • Prescribed talas: Teentala or Adi Tala, Rupak or Tevra.

C4: Percussion (Mridangam)

  • A brief overview of the following Lakshana Granthas, focusing on Tala and percussion in Chaturdandi Prakashika, Sangita Ratnakara, Ragavibhodha, Svaramela Kalanidhi
  • Concise biographies and contributions of prominent figures:
  1. Needamangalam Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai
  2. Tanjore Vaidyanatha Iyer
  3. Palghat Mani Iyer
  4. Umaiyalpuram Kodanda Ramaiyer
  5. Pudukkottai Swaminatha Pillai
  6. fPalani Subramania Pillai
  7. Vilvadri Iyer
  • Study of various musical forms, such as Pallavi, Sollukattu, Tillana, Padam, Javali
  • Definition and explanation of the following concepts:

Padagarbham, Arudi, Eduppu, Gati-bheda, Anuloma, Pratiloma, Tisram, Trikalam, Theka, 108 Talas, Shadangas, Tiruppugazh Talas, Tala Vadya ensemble

  • General knowledge of the classification and historical background of percussion instruments and the instruments opted by the candidate
  • Technical terms such as Vilamba, Madhya, Druta, Atitam, Anagatam, Pharan, Kalapramanam, Ghumki, Konnakkol, Choru, Varu, Toppi
  • Familiarity with the fundamental structure, techniques, and playing methods of percussion instruments such as Morsing, Tabla, Chenda, Edakka, and Gettu Vadyam.


CUET Performing Arts Exam Pattern


Particulars Details 
Instruction MediumEnglish & 13 languages opted by the Candidates
Total number of questions50
Total Questions to be Attempted in Exam40
Total marks200
Type of questionMultiple Choice Questions
Exam Duration45 Minutes
Exam FrequencyOnce a year
Marking Scheme+5 marks for correct answer
-1 mark for an incorrect answer
Zero mark for unattempted Questions



The CUET 2024 will be held from May 15th to May 31st, 2024. Hence, the candidates planning to appear for the CUET 2024 Performing Arts exam should thoroughly check the syllabus for CUET Performing Arts. It will aid students get a fair idea about the topics from which the questions are asked in the exam. This is one exam that takes a considerable amount of preparation to pass. Hence, practice is very important. The candidates can upgrade their skills through mock tests and previous years’ CUET question papers.


FAQs related to CUET Performing Arts Syllabus 2024


1.  How can one stay tuned to any updates, changes, or announcements related to the CUET 2024 Performing Arts Syllabus? 


Ensure that you regularly review the official CUET website, as well as official university communications, to maintain a current understanding of any revisions or announcements concerning the CUET 2024 Performing Arts syllabus. 


2. How should I prepare for the CUET Performing Arts? 


Refer to the past years’ CUET UG Performing Arts question papers for a better understanding of the total marks, topics, chapter-wise weighting, topics, and type of questions being asked.


3. Is there any recent update regarding the syllabus for CUET Performing Arts? 

There has been no change to the official CUET Performing Arts Syllabus in a long time. 


4. What is the Performing Arts exam in CUET? 

The CUET 2024 is a common entrance test that provides admission to various CUET Participating colleges. The performing arts exam conducted by CUET 2024 has three sections including, Section A- Dance, Section B- Drama- Theatre, and Section C is music. The candidates will be allowed to select the section of their choice.