Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tala System for Carnatic Music

Tala System for Carnatic Music

In the following :
a. The blue ANGAS are the major ANGAS (The Classical 108 talas)

b. The red ANGAS are the popular ANGAS (Sapta Suladi Talas)

c. In the literature the symbols are placed one above the other. Here for convenience, the symbols are grouped together in the paranthesis.

For the laghu a subscript indicates the jati (3,4,5,7,9). In the following it is omitted. All laghus are 4-jati unless indicated otherwise.

d. An alternate tala count is the "matra" which has a unit of 1 corresponding to the chaturasa-jati laghu.

Anga Symbol Aksharakala Mode of Counting Anudrutam U 1 1

beat Druta O 2 1 beat +

Visarijitam (wave of hand)
Druta-virama (OU) 3

Laghu (Chatursa-jati) 4 1 beat + 3 finger count

Laghu-virama (U) 5

Laghu-Laghudruta (O) 6

Laghu-druta-virama (OU) 7

Guru 8 8 A beat followed by circular movement of the right hand in the clockwise directions with closed

Guru-virama (8U) 9

Guru-druta (8O) 10

Guru-druta-virama (8OU) 11

Plutam (8) 12 1 beat + kryshya (waving right hand from right to left) to + 1 sarpini(waving the right hand from left to right) - 4 aksharakalas

Pluta-virana (8U) 13 Pluta-druta

Pluta-druta (8O) 14

Pluta-druta-virama (8OU) 15

Kakapadam + 16 1 beat + patakam(lifting the right hand) + kryshya + sarpini - each of 4 aksharakalas)

Based on the above : Sarabhandana tala - first ascribed to Syama Sastri - has 24 ANGAS and79 aksharakalas as follows : ( The construction below is only for clarity - theangas follow one another) 8 O O U (U) O O O U (O) (OU) (U) O U O U O (U) O (OU) (O) Simhanandana tala : It is the 37 th of the classical 108 talas. It isthe longest tala and does not use any sub-angas. Of the major six the anudrutamis omitted. Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer and Patnam Subramania Iyer are the primarycomposers in this tala. It has 18 angas and 128 aksharakalas as follows: 8 8 (8) 8 O O 8 8 (8) (8) 8 +

(Ref: Prof. P.Sambamurthy)

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