INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Tabla Forum: ektal

 

Author Message
paulji
ektal Feb 28, 2004 10:12 p.m.


Hi everyone. I have a question about keeping tal in ektal. When keeping tal a wave of the hand is used to show kali but in ektal (dhin dhin dha tete tun na ka ta dhage tete dhin nana) keeping tal with "down, wave, down, wave, down, down" the first wave is done during dha. But dha is not a kali (no bass). Get my point So what's the scoop on that? Thanks
aanaddha
Re:ektal Feb 28, 2004 11:55 p.m.



paulji (Feb 28, 2004 10:12 p.m.):
.... But dha is not a kali (no bass). Get my point So what's the scoop on that? Thanks

Dear Paulji,

There's no 'rule' that stipulates the khali of a taal must fall on a closed tabla stroke - or more to the point, that a closed tabla stroke is always the indicator of the khali of a taal. You may be confusing the concepts of khali / mudi, and theka / taal. For an excellent and clear study of tala and time-keeping in hindustani music see Martin Clayton's "Time In Indian Music", available at:
https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no20414.htm
(this is the one with the cool photo of a young Kanthe Maharaj on the cover)

Aanaddha

paulji
Re:ektal Feb 29, 2004 10:17 p.m.


Thanks. I'll get the book. It seems that all the other thekas have a closed baya stroke for khali; rupak, jhaptal, tintal etc. Do you know any other thekas that have an open baya stroke during khali? Or am I missing the point?
Aanaddha
Re:ektal Mar 01, 2004 08:29 a.m.



paulji (Feb 29, 2004 10:17 p.m.):
Thanks. I'll get the book. It seems that all the other thekas have a closed baya stroke for khali; rupak, jhaptal, tintal etc. Do you know any other thekas that have an open baya stroke during khali? Or am I missing the point?

Paulji,
Your point is well-taken, however, you are looking for logic and reason in the least likely place.
There are plenty of exceptions in the performance practices of what we now call Hindustani Classical Music. Why these exceptions exist, when did they evolve, and what their purpose is one can only guess. For one, these rules we speak of are rarely written and they are not learned in mass curriculums at large universities. Another is that these practices did evolve from a blend of cultures (e.g.; Muslim, Hindu, and various indigenous regional and foreign cultures) from various specific musical traditions (e.g.; carnatic, hindustani), from various genres such as dhrupad, khyal, kathak, and folk genres, and to suit various purposes such as vocal, instrumental, dance, theatre, entertainment and religious purposes. All of these influences combined to different degrees for various purposes over hundreds of years passed from one generation to the next in strictly vocal forms of teaching and learning. Even now it would be safer to say that such-and-such is the common practice in such-and-such a region of India than to say that such-and-such is the rule - or the exception. If you were to look you would find more than a handful of twelve-beat time-cycles somewhere in India called Ektal that are not the same as yours.
We could discuss the concepts of theka, taal, khali, clapping and counting, and ektal in great detail but there is a word limit in effect here and it would take much time to write besides.
It is good that you are taking note of these things and if you find the answer you are looking for please tell me. Hopefully you will discover the answer as well as a host of other questions or someone will give you a better answer than mine.

Aanaddha

Shawn
Re:ektal Mar 01, 2004 08:52 a.m.



paulji (Feb 29, 2004 10:17 p.m.):
Thanks. I'll get the book. It seems that all the other thekas have a closed baya stroke for khali; rupak, jhaptal, tintal etc. Do you know any other thekas that have an open baya stroke during khali? Or am I missing the point?

Hi,

Well... technically, Tintal DOES have an open baya stroke on kali:

Dha Dhin Dhin Dha
Dha Dhin Dhin Dha
Dha Tin Tin Na
Na Dhin Dhin Dha

Kali begins on beat 9, and there's a Dha.

If we followed the kali structure exactly, then Tintal would be:

Dha Dhin Dhin Dha
Dha Dhin Dhin Dha
Na Tin Tin Na
Dha Dhin Dhin Dha

I think I have heard that some teachers teach Tintal like that (perhaps it was Samir Chatterjee?), however in actual performance practice, we all play the first theka...

Many players in the Benares gharana skilfully avoid the issue by saying Tintal like this

Na Dhin Dhin Na
Na Dhin Dhin Na
Na Tin Tin Na
Na Dhin Dhin Na

It still is played as normal Tintal - it's just the bols that are spoken differently.


Shawn
http://www.percussionist.net
aanaddha
Re:ektal Mar 02, 2004 01:05 a.m.


[quote]Shawn (Mar 01, 2004 08:52 a.m.):
I think I have heard that some teachers teach Tintal like that (perhaps it was Samir Chatterjee?), however in actual performance practice, we all play the first theka...
[quote]

With the stipulation that as an accompanist we should be prepared and able to conform to the soloist's wishes in that regard - and that the soloist's preferences should be maintained throughout the performance in all subsequent elaborations of the theka regardless of what we were taught or are accustomed to.
A.

Shawn
Re:ektal Mar 02, 2004 08:02 a.m.



aanaddha (Mar 02, 2004 01:05 a.m.):
[quote]Shawn (Mar 01, 2004 08:52 a.m.):
I think I have heard that some teachers teach Tintal like that (perhaps it was Samir Chatterjee?), however in actual performance practice, we all play the first theka...
[quote]

With the stipulation that as an accompanist we should be prepared and able to conform to the soloist's wishes in that regard - and that the soloist's preferences should be maintained throughout the performance in all subsequent elaborations of the theka regardless of what we were taught or are accustomed to.
A.


I suppose that's true... depends who you're playing with. Though I have never heard anyone perform Tintal in a way that's remarkably different.


Shawn
http://www.percussionist.net
Aanaddha
Re:ektal Mar 02, 2004 11:04 a.m.



[b]Shawn (Mar 02, 2004 08:02 a.m.):[/


I suppose that's true... depends who you're playing with. Though I have never heard anyone perform Tintal in a way that's remarkably different.[/quote]

There are in fact plenty of vocalists who are quite fussy and not always in agreement about the strokes that are heard to designate the khali vibhag, particularly in vilambit tintal.

A.

patience
Re:ektal Mar 02, 2004 02:16 p.m.


paulji, Thank you for this question.
Thanks aanaddha, Shawn for your input.

This topic is so important to the beginner like me. We would like to hear from David Courtney on this topic if possible.

Patience!

David Courtney
Re:ektal Mar 05, 2004 05:21 p.m.


Dear Friends.

The word "Khali" literally means "empty", �unoccupied� or "blank". The exact meaning depends upon what you are referring to. For instance the significance in �Khali Kagaz� ( i.e., blank paper), is very different from �Khali pet� (i.e., empty stomach). In the same way, the word khali may be applied to at least three totally separate topics in tabla.

1) the bol / stroke definition
2) the timekeeping (kriya)
3) compositional structure

Just as �khali� has different meanings in day-to-day contexts, so to the meaning of khali is likely to change depending upon what part of the field of tabla one is talking about.

The confusion here is simple. This thread started with a discussion of the term �Khali� as it was applied to the timekeeping (i.e., kriya) then very quickly started to get bogged down with khali as it was applied to the bol/stroke techniques. Let us not forget that these are totally separate subjects.


David Courtney

aanaddha
Re:ektal Mar 06, 2004 01:53 a.m.



David Courtney (Mar 05, 2004 05:21 p.m.):
Dear Friends.

The word "Khali" literally means "empty", �unoccupied� or "blank". The exact meaning depends upon what you are referring to. For instance the significance in �Khali Kagaz� ( i.e., blank paper), is very different from �Khali pet� (i.e., empty stomach). In the same way, the word khali may be applied to at least three totally separate topics in tabla.

1) the bol / stroke definition
2) the timekeeping (kriya)
3) compositional structure

Just as �khali� has different meanings in day-to-day contexts, so to the meaning of khali is likely to change depending upon what part of the field of tabla one is talking about.

The confusion here is simple. This thread started with a discussion of the term �Khali� as it was applied to the timekeeping (i.e., kriya) then very quickly started to get bogged down with khali as it was applied to the bol/stroke techniques. Let us not forget that these are totally separate subjects.


David Courtney


I would agree that these are seperate subjects; and yet, the question remains whether they have a relationship? In essence: Are the bols that are incorporated in the "empty", "unoccupied", "blank", or "wave" portion of a given taal, as a rule, be non-resonant, without baya, or otherwise understated? As the originator of this thread has noted, in the case of ek-taal this is obviously not the rule and my only answer is that there really are no "rules' as such. In the example given by Shawn in the case of teen-taal, I would agree that there is a difference between the bols given for the "wave" portion of the taal (counts 9, 10, 11, and 12) in theory and in actual practice. (As I understand, this is a relatively recent development in common performance practice.) I would also point out that the difference in practice performance in regard to teental is probably less critical in the performance of tabla solo than it is in instrumental or vocal accompaniment where precision and tradition are more the goal than style.
In sum I think the original question is a relevant one regardless of the confusion in terminology or by example.
I don't have an answer. I am only offering my best assumptions.

Sincerely,
Aanaddha

Shawn
Re:ektal Mar 06, 2004 01:03 p.m.


In response to David and Aanaddha's comments...

I think that we've found the main issue here. To summarize:

The khali portions of a given tal are in reference to the "theoretical definition" of the tal. Then, the bols of the corresponding theka are used to reproduce the tal in the realm of sound.

Then, the issue at hand: Is there a direct correlation between the theory of the tal, and the quality of the bols used to reproduce it?

In general, I guess we can say "yes", most of the time. BUT:

I think that what David might have been hinting at is that thali and khali represent an idea (the organisation of the tal), and as long as through our bols, that idea is understood, then the quality of the bols isn't necessarily at issue. (I hope I'm not going too far here...).

It's an interesting subject, in any case.

Take care,


Shawn
http://www.percussionist.net
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