INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Tabla Forum: plz help!!! urgent problem needs solving!!!


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plz help!!! urgent problem needs solving!!! Sep 16, 2002 01:25 p.m.

hi. I have recently discovered this site while searching for links on tabla. I have found it an invaluable resourse to aid my learning. I am a 15 year old high school student from the United Kingdom. I have been playing tabla for about 1 and a half years. I am doing my school GCSE music course with my speciality instrument as tabla. Ok, so for about 50% of my final grade in Music, i ahve to write a project about tabla. And in this project I have to study three pieces of tabla music. now there are certain conditions:

1. they must all be of the same genre

2. i must perform one of them

3. they must show the full capabilities of the tabla instrument.

now here's where I need your help. Firstly, all we all know pieces of tabla music are heavily improvised, and it is very hard to find a written "piece" of music for the tabla, as you would for any other instrument, say, piano. Can you help me to find a way of presenting tabla pieces, written out in a form which an ordinary Music teacher/piano player would understand?

Secondly, one of the conditions is that they must all be from the same genre. I am confused by this. For my example of the piano player, this would mean pieces from say, different eras of music (classical, modern, romantic etc.)or maybe even different composers. What does, "different genres" mean, for me, the tabla player? Does it mean, gharana, taal, composer?

Can you please help me find some pieces, which are not too hard for me to play (I can play just over half the kaidas on the 16/8/4 tabla composition database), and which are in the same genre please. as you can understand this is a very important issue for me, and I would be eternally grateful to anyone who helps me. If no-one does, then I will most probably fail my music GCSE getting a low grade. this may mean that I mite not graduate from high school. please help me, if you can.

I can't get help from anywhere else, because my teacher (Giani Pritpal Singh Flora) has recently died, and i can't get in touch with any of his other students. There is also no other tabla teachers, or player in my city, and I am the only person in my school doing tabla for their music course. my music teacher is similarly confused about such issues, because she doesn't know much about tabla, or indeed, indian music.

many, many thanks in advance for any1 who helps me.

Re:plz help!!! urgent problem needs solving!!! Sep 16, 2002 11:12 p.m.

Genre would mean Classical tabla verses folk tabla. Like a tabla solo, or tabla tarang, or classical dance acompanying verses playing a Bhajon song. The only way to make your teacher understnad is write about tabla notation and bols, and then show them the notation of written down tabla music. explain how they write the rhythms and whatnot, they should be able to understand.
Re:plz help!!! urgent problem needs solving!!! Sep 17, 2002 06:37 a.m.

where in the UK do you live ?
Re:plz help!!! urgent problem needs solving!!! Sep 17, 2002 09:04 a.m.

You seem to have a total misconception of tabla.
First off tabla is not all based on improvise.
There is enough standard notated tabla compositions to play for 100 years.
You can find everything you need on our Austin Tabla Website and hear on David's website.
go to
and click on the Composition database. there is a lot of stuff there that you can use. My advice is to read up on Gharanas, the anatomy of a tabla solo, Bole Notes , how they are played and the notation.
Read Gourisankar's begging lessons .
Re:plz help!!! urgent problem needs solving!!! Sep 21, 2002 07:15 a.m.


Your genre would be North Indian classical music. You can present 3 tabla solos if you like (if you have recordings to play as examples), but the one you perform will have to be a little different.

You could play theka, then just go through 2 or 3 kaidas, with the appropriate tihais at the end. And then, do a rela with some variations, and then end with a tukra or two (with recitation). That should be quite enough for a high school presentation...

Good luck!

(By the way, Pandit Sharda Sahai lives in the UK, though perhaps not in your city (you didn't mention where you live). )


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