Raga CDs of the Months (12/07): TALA – Indian Rhythm Cycles.
Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on December 4, 2007
Raga CDs of the Months
TALA – Indian Rhythm Cycles
Same as for Indian Ragas, there are different traditions and developments of the North Indian classical period over hundreds of years since the 16th century, the Hindustani music and South Indian Classical period (Carnatic) are reflected in the system of the rhythms.
Tala is a Sanskrit word (Talā) and means clap. It is the Indian system for rhythms of Hindustani Music.
One can approach over the harmony theory to the Tala-s, via the “cadences“, a succession of groups of sounds (groups of chords). This rather unstable sound system of strain and relaxation is the basis e.g. for the Indian Rhythmic composition Tikhai, Mukhard and Parvan. The alternative…
Arvartan… the concept of the cycles.
With Arvatan, the concept of cycles exists a music philosophical understanding of the Indian classical period. The Tala-s are much rather illustrated hereby and therefore Arvartan – the concept of cycles is the subject of our December 2007 show.
The cyclic concept reflects the understanding of Hindu philosophy of the universe, which follows the principle of repetitive cycles (Rhythm Cycles), too. The cycle of nature is represented in Indian Classical music and illustrated by the rhythmic principles of Tala-s.
The prominent percussion instrument of North Indian Classics is the Tabla. It is a pair of drums covered with goat skin and appears for Indian Ragas on stages as rhythmic accompanying instrument and in solo play for Raga interpretations. The Tabla sound characteristics are unmistakable.
Ghatam | Hanjira | Mridangam | Pakhawaj | Tabla
The Tabla was developed from the Pakhawaj, a drum, which can be found in the Dhrupad, the eldest existing vocal style of India nowadays. Beside these two instruments we find the Mridangam and Ghatam for rhythmics in South Indian Classics. The Carnatic music has it’s own Raga scales (Ragam) and rhythmical system (Talam).