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Posts: 178
Reply with quote  #1 
im just kinda confused as to wether theres a "method to the madness" perse
in tabla accompaniment
i know in solo tabla theres like structures and stuff kaidas and whatnot i guess
but i cant really recognize any structure aside from adheringto the taal obviously in accompanying tabla
is it just prettymuch improvised or am i missing something?
thanks hallah!

Posts: 90
Reply with quote  #2 
Hope this helps..Good explanation of what improvisation is from the master himself..


Posts: 178
Reply with quote  #3 
thanks ill check it out

Senior Member
Posts: 157
Reply with quote  #4 
I am no expert in accompaniment but this is what I think:

When a tabla player plays is solo (in accompaniment of course) he has more or less three opitions.

1) He plays some fixed compostions like kaydas, relas or uthans/tukras/chakradars

2) He kind of improvises by taking parts from some compositions and joining to other parts of other compostions and make them sound like something fresh and new etc.

3) He just improvises based on what the tan (or improvisation played by the sitar/instrumental player)

The tabla player's solo must complimment the solo(tan) played by the instrumental player. Whether he plays 1, 2 or 3, his or hers contribution must (at least try to) agree with the main player's.

#1 seems easy (and it is easy in a sence that you have all the paltas there correctly laid out for u...and u practiced them all) but to really provide good solo response he would have to know a great amount of kaidas/relas and fixed compositions.

To play #2 one needs to be a bit more involved and aware of the beat and cycle etc to be able to know where and when to add things and tihais etc. He will probably have no much problems with laya since most of what he plays is kind of know (and practiced) to him. The guy who is fed up with #1 may decide to start to improvise one days and may find #2 as a stepping stone.

To play #3 is a different matter all together. Here all your sences must be involved. He needs to have full control of time.
Awareness and and full control of laya, layakari. He needs to know how to make smooth transitions for slow playing to fast playing. He should be able to remember the chalan of the tan (she should be one with the raga too) to be able to be inspired and create something out of that tan. In a way, he should be able to be spontaneous within certain bounderies he sets to himself. For example, he may decide that he changes his direction of improvisation every 4 beats or so to keep things interersting etc. There is so much to learn here that I think really very few people play this way. Most probably mix all three ways together somehow but I am sure some people can play thre very well. Anindo Chatterjee comes to mind. Listen to his cd "Horizon" with Purbayan Chatterjee. Raga Marwa. Listen to his Solos there and then go back and listen to what Purbayan had played just before Anindo plays. Anindo may seem to go on some crazy way to an uninitiated but if you listen carefully you will see that he matches what Purbayan played prior. Of course he doesn't play exactly like the tan. He needs to go off too and do his stuff but it must keep that feeling given to him by the sitar player rolling. These are my views and is what I understand how solo in accompaniment goes. I may be wrong or it may change later in the future.


Posts: 390
Reply with quote  #5 
It seems to me that #3 here would be able to play whatever that comes to mind, and that the mind is 100% connected to the spirit of the music.

My goal!

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