Jake, By the way you said your creating your own paltas , I'm wondering if your familier with the standard first palta "Dohra" or the Punjab first palta (Zakir calls twins) , you might know them but not by name. I could explain these things if anyone is interested. Warren
1 Well the first rule about kaidas and there paltas is that if you are given a kaida theme example dhate tedha tete dhadha | tete dhage dhina gena you will play this twice,one tali one kali, the first half "tali" will be dhate tedha tete dhadha | tete dhage TINA KENA and the "kali" second half will start without baya and end DHINA GENA example: Tate teta tete dhadha | tete dhage DHINA GENA. So the baya drops out before the actual kali starts. Where the baya comes back in during the kali is usually somewhere in the middle but it varies and is up to the player and what sounds good. So the first composition line I typed is called the theme. A good player can see the theme and figure out the Tali (or sometimes called bhari) and the kali just by looking at a one line theme but beginners should write out the whole kaida (tali and kali) but understand that only the one line is the theme. All the variations or Paltas must always end with the same bols in this case dhina gena. One note here when you make paltas the more of the entire theme you can add to the end of the palta the better like this example dhate tedha tete dhadha | dha- S dhadha tete | dhate tedha tete dhadha | tete dhage TINA KENA (the S stands for silent beat or you canuse a dash) So this palta ends with the entire theme. So it can also be written.dhate tedha tete dhadha | dha- S dhadha tete +theme. I hope this makes sense so far it will be important when creating your own paltas. Next I will explain how to create the first palta (variation) "Dohra"
2.Dohra. If someone gives you a kaida theme you can immediately figure out what the first "traditional" palta(variation) will be . Dohra means repeat so you repeat the first half of the theme two times then play the whole theme example: dhate tedha tete dhadha | dhate tedha tete dhadha |dhate tedha tete dhadha| tete dhage tina kena. It can be written like this : (dhate tedha tete dhadha)x2 +theme. This will be the Tali the kali will be : Tate teta tete tata | tate teta tete tata |dhate tedha tete dhadha| tete dhage dhina gena. or (tate teta tete tata)2x + theme . Understand ? this is the traditional first palta of most all gharanas so if someone gives you a kaida theme you can automatically create the first palta. But remember it's not completely against the law to make the first palta something else it's just the most traditional way. Except for Punjab gharana. The punjab style uses the "twins" for the first palta. that is you split the first half of the theme play it 2 times then play the second half 2 times so the first palta would be : dhate tedha tete dhadha|dhate tedha tete dhadha |tete dhage dhina gena|tete dhage tina kena. It can be written like this: (dhate tedha tete dhadha)x2 (tete dhage dhina gena)x2 You automatically have to know that the second time you play the second half it will end Tete dhage TINA KENA. the kali would be (Tate teta tete tata)x2 (tete dhage dhina gena)x2 So now you know how to automatically create 2 paltas out of a kaida theme. But remember that this dhate te kaida is farrukbhad so it will use the dohra. If you hear or someone gives you a kaida and they give you the first palta as twins you know the kaida is Punjabi. Traditionally you should not use the punjab palta on a non punjab kaida it's a slight breach of ediquette. Usually the first palta will always be the Dohra. And normally you play one or the other not both the dohra then the twins although I have heard punjab play the dohra after the twins. OK I hope that explains the basics of how you create your first paltas for a kaida. I hope people are reading this or saving it because these are basic rules of traditional tabla playing that a rarely explained. Next I will write about creating more paltas working from this foundation. If you have questions let me know
3.Creating more paltas using the dohra as your foundation. There is quite an art to making paltas for a kaida and there are quite a few unwritten guidelines. As tabla students it takes a while to understand the pitfalls and taboos. But there are some relativily easy ways to make exceptable paltas. To demonstrate I will use something a little more interesting here is a kaida theme: dha-tere kitataka terekita dhati | gena dhage dhina gena So from the last post you should know how to play the tali and kali and how to make the first palta "dohra" Dha-tere kitataka terekita dhati |Dha-tere kitataka terekita dhati |Dha-tere kitataka terekita dhati | gena dhage dhina gena or written (Dha-tere kitataka terekita dhati )x2 + theme. Now if you look at this dohra you will notice some phrases you have just added to the theme. For simplicity lets break it up like this Dha-tere kitataka terekita and dhati . the Dohra gives you 2 of each of these plus the theme. So how many paltas can you make by rearranging these? Here's one for your second palta sort of playing the dohra backwards.Palta 2. Dhati Dha-tere kitataka terekita |Dhati Dha-tere kitataka terekita |Dha-tere kitataka terekita dhati | gena dhage dhina gena or write it like this 2. (Dhati Dha-tere kitataka terekita )x2 +theme 3. (Dha-tere kitataka terekita )x2 (dhati)x2 +theme 4. (dhati)x2 (Dha-tere kitataka terekita )x2 +theme 5. dhati (Dha-tere kitataka terekita )x2 dhati + theme 6. Dha-tere kitataka terekita(dhati)x2 Dha-tere kitataka terekita +theme Ok so this is simple but it is a basic way to make exceptible paltas. You immediatly have 6 paltas. It gets more interesting when you break things up and use spaces or rests. Here's one example: 7. Dha-tere kitataka terekita dhati | dha- S Dha-tere kitataka| +theme .Also you can take dhati and change it to dhadha in some parts to create something a little different . It gets trickier if you break a little of the theme and do something a little different to part of it but it's also more possible to do something wrong because if the kaida loses it's feeling it won't be right. More about that some other time . I hope this explains some basic ways to make paltas within traditional guidelines. I hope you can take some kaida theme you have and try creating your own paltas.