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Stephen.bansuri

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Reply with quote  #1 

As a relative newbie I am having a problem with finding what the mystery about talas is to a properly trained musician who is experienced with post stravinsky rhythms.

If I look at Teental I can see that there are 4 basic beats each divided into four and that in Teental the ninth is traditionally a wave. Can someone tell me how this is different to a western musician looking at a bar of 16 and regarding each sixteenth as a separate beat. 


Even if we choose to get a little more adventurous within the 16 and group the 16 as3 3 3 3 2 or 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 which the notation system will cope with perfectly well and keep this pattern repeating, how is this different to the concept of cycles in tala?

we can take it further than that with the talas that have a much longer and more elaborate groupings of beats 17 16 is a perfectly useable and playable time signature as would be 31 32. And each of these can be divided at will and repeated. 

I am awarè that the western system will not allow for the pronunciation of bols but as regards cycle length and stress of meter is there something I am totally missing.


I am also aware that many amateur western players will not have had the experience and be less comfortable with the more unusual time signatures but I really am struggling to find something that is as difficult as it is presented to be. Any explanation gratefully received.

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dhatitdha

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Reply with quote  #2 
Please refer below link for some explanation about Beat, Tempo ( Laya ), Avartan, Taal.

http://vishwamohini.com/music/music.php?id=182

I have no knowledge about western rythm system so I will not comment on that

Here are my views
- Taal has Bhari [Clap] And Khali [Wave], which is unique to Taal system
- Divisions of Taals are fixed, they can not be changed, For example : Teentaal has divisions of 4 with 4 beats in each division 1 2 3 4 | 5 6 7 8  | 9 10 11 12 | 13 14 15 16
- Taal has fixed beats, For example if Teentaal is 16 beats Taal, those will never change so each repetition of Teentaal will have 16 beats, even if you repeat it thousands time.
- Taal has syllables [Bols] which are again unique to Taal, For example syllables of Teentaal are
Dha Dhin Dhin Dha | Dha Dhin Dhin Dha | Dha Tin Tin Ta | Ta Dhin Dhin Dha
These syllables create unique experience when Taal is played, one can play variations in the Taal but those variations should respect overall experience of Taal which is created by original Taal respecting Bhari Khali and divisions. So playing Taal is not just about 16 beats, syllables are also important to establish Taal, That is why there are different Taals having same number of beats but different divisions and syllables, and Khali Bhari.
For example
7 beats Taals : Roopak, Tevra
14 beats : Zumara, Deepchandi, AdChautaal
16 beats : Teentaal, Tilwada, Addha etc

Refer this article to understand different Taals

http://vishwamohini.com/music/music.php?id=79
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BrianB

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have not seen that site before - thank you Dhatitdha.

I am a beginner, so there is a lot to learn and a lot that will be confusing for while.

A hopefully simple question - there seem to be slight differences between the spoken beats ('theka'?) of a taal (on the vishwamohini these are listed as 'lyrics') and what appear to be the actual bols for tabla that are listed (a 'lyric' may be "dhi" and the bol is actually "dhin", or "ti" vs "tin" for example). The differences are very minor, but why are they different at all?
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dhatitdha

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Reply with quote  #4 
@BrianB

Please refer below link for detail explanation about why there are minor differences on Vishwamohini

https://forum.chandrakantha.com/post/proposed-solution-for-writing-tabla-compositions-in-english-9814730

Also refer this link to learn melody writing in Vishwamohini format

http://vishwamohini.com/music/demo.php

In short, spellings of few Tabla syllables are same though they are pronounces differently, which creates confusion while writing Tabla compositions. So whenever there is closed sound on Tabla first letter of syllable will start with lower case and if sound is open then first letter of syllable will start with upper case.
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BrianB

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you very much!

I suspected that part of this was my lack of knowledge about tabla specifically, and it appears I was partly right.

Much appreciated.
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geezerjazz

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Reply with quote  #6 
I don’t see anything too complex about northern Indian talas. They’re pretty easily learned. Where the complexity comes in is with the polyrhythmic and polymetric material that gets superimposed. And the tihais!

Carnatic music has some more challenging cycles though.




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Stephen.bansuri

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Reply with quote  #7 
That is exactly what I was thinking. They really are no more complicated than Bartok or Stravinsky or Brubeck for that matter but there seems to be a desire to create a mystery where there isn't one unless someone else can explain to me what I am missing.
I would agree that the bols are a little more difficult to get the head round and slippy knowledge for someone who isn't a tabla player but even these are broken into units which h coincide with the way that western musician would go about dividing a bar of sixteenths. Even this are not in essence any different to hemiolas in western music and again the polyrhythms are as complex as you choose to make them. But please please understand I am not in any way trying to simplify this wonderful music merely saying that some of the comparisons which are made to western music are made by those who don't really know enough about western music to. are these comparisons in a valid way. There I an awful lot more to it than Mozart and the Beatles. 

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