Elementary Tabla

The tabla is a percussion instrument that finds its home and origin in the North Indian Hindustani classical music with the earliest depiction of the tabla has been found in the carvings in Bhaja Caves in the state of Maharashtra.. The instrument consists of a pair of drums of contrasting sizes and tonalities. In this course, Udayraj Karpur, one of the finest percussive instrumentalists of the country, explains the basic concepts of Indian rythm and then demonstrates how these concepts are applied to the Tabla. With its stress on technique, this course is a good starting point on the journey to learn this fine instrument.

Instructor: Udayraj Karpur

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Suggested Time

8 weeks







Unit 1: The language of Tabla

Basic syllables (bols) 37 min

As the name suggests, bols are the representations of different sounds that come out of the tabla depending on how the player hits the drums. Using these bols, players can compose, imagine and orally communicate whole segments of compositions. Learning the bols is, therefore, as important as learning the alphabets of a written language.
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Unit 2: Using the language

Kayadas 25 min

Kayadas are compositions in rythm that are created using phrases of bols and are aesthetically coherent with the melodic composition as well. In this chapter, you will learn about composing rythmic patterns for the tabla, how to apply them in a melodic context and finally, how to further break down the cycles into intricate rythms using tihais.
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Unit 3: Demonstration

Concert Pattern 4 min

In this chapter, the instructor gives a demo of a solo tabla performance that includes all the techniques and principles that were explained in the preceding chapters.
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