Taals created by Tagore

Taal

Taal in Great Indian Music is the cycle of beats that repeats through the whole piece of musical composition. Some compositions may have a combination of Taals, that is, a mix of more than one types of beat cycles. Tempo of a composition is counted by time, and the smallest piece of the time is a single beat. A Taal can be a cycle of eight beats or six beats or sixteen beats. Based on the beat counting and style of movements of sounds in the rhythm, a Taal differs from the other.

 

The composition with notes of Tabla (or other Indian rhythm instruments) to represent a Taal is called Theka, also called the Bole for the Taal. It should be made in a way that the nature of the Taal is properly illustrated. Theka can be reformed, for a particular Taal, according to the type and mode of the music, the speed, and some other factors. We can find thousands of songs, with hundreds of modes and speed, composed on one certain Taal. Naturally, the Thekas of that same Taal will be different in different songs.

 

Tagore’s Taal

The greatest Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore developed some Taals for Tabla. He was a great composer. He wrote (lyrics) and composed more than two thousand songs, which are named as Tagore’s Songs (Rabindra Sangeet). People love and admire to sing and listen to Tagore’s Songs.

 

By nature, Tagore’s most of the songs were composed with the tune of old and rich music of Indian sub-continent. He took elements from Dhrupad, and also from some folk sources like Monipuri, Baul, etc. In different styles of music, Tabla does not fit with its own characteristics, at least if it is not played in a matching way. Pakhowaz or Mridangam is used in Dhrupad, Khol is used in Monipuri, and Dhol is used in Baul. For making a similarity or balance among the rhythm instruments, or for somewhat other reasons, Tagore developed some new Taals for Tabla. (The Boles of most of these Taals can be played in Pakhowaz also.) He also modified some Taals for Tabla with their Boles and construction without changing the rhythm and feeling.

 

Here we have the Taals from Tagore. These are used in Tagore’s songs and also in some other modern songs. By characteristic, Tagore’s Taals do not have any Khali.

 

Ardho Jhap (5 beats)

It is of five beats with two Pads of different lengths. So, it is a bisomopadi Taal. It has all two Taalis, at the first and third beats, and no Khali. This is actually the half of the Jhaptaal. It is used in Tagore’s compositions and some other modern songs.

 Theka of Ardho Jhap:

+1 2 +1
dhin Na     | dhin dhin Na     ‡ dhin
1 2 3 4 5 1

 

Jhampok (5 beats)

It is of five beats with two Pads of different lengths. So, it is a bisomopadi Taal. It has all two Taalis, at the first and fourth beats, and no Khali. This is, in fact, the reverse form of Ardha Jhap with its divisions. It is used in Tagore’s compositions and some other modern songs.

 Theka of Jhampok:

+1 2 +1
dhin dhin Na     | dhin Na    ‡ dhin
1 2 3 4 5 1

 

Shashthee (6 beats)

It is of six beats with two Pads of different lengths. So, it is a bisomopadi Taal. It has all two Taalis, at the first and third beats, and no Khali. It is used in Tagore’s compositions and some other modern songs.

Theka of Shashthee:

+1 2
dhin Dhage   | dhin dhin Nage tere   ‡
1 2 3 4 5 6
+1
dhin
1

 

Rupokrha (8 beats)

It is of eight beats with three Pads of different lengths. So, it is a bisomopadi Taal. It has all three Taalis, at the first, fourth and sixth beats, and no Khali. It is used in Tagore’s compositions and some other modern songs.

Theka of Rupokrha:

+1 2
dhin dhin Na     | dhin Na     |
1 2 3 4 5  
3 +1
dhin dhin Na     ‡ dhin
6 7 8 1    

 

Nobotaal (9 beats)

It is of nine beats with four Pads of different lengths. So, it is a bisomopadi Taal. It has all four Taalis, at the first, fourth, sixth and eighth beats, and no Khali. It is used in Tagore’s compositions and some other modern songs.

Theka of Nobotaal:

+1 2
Dha den Ta    | tere koTa    |
1 2 3 4 5  
3 4 +1
godi ghene   | Dhage tere     ‡ Dha
6 7 8 9 1  

 

Ekadoshi (11 beats)

It is of eleven beats with four Pads of different lengths. So, it is a bisomopadi Taal. It has all four Taalis, at the first, fourth, sixth and eighth beats, and no Khali. It is used in Tagore’s compositions and rarely in some other modern songs.

Theka 1 of Ekadoshi :

+1 2
dhin dhin Na     | dhin Na     |
1 2 3 4 5  
3 4
dhin Na     | dhin dhin Nage tere   ‡
6 7 8 9 10 11
+1
dhin
1

Theka 2 of Ekadoshi :

+1 2
Dha den Ta     | kot Tage     |
1 2 3 4 5  
3 4
den Ta     | tere koTa godi ghene ‡
6 7 8 9 10 11
+1
Dha
1

 

Nobopancho (18 beats)

It is of eighteen beats with five Pads of different lengths. So, it is a bisomopadi Taal. It has all five Taalis, at the first, third, seventh, eleventh and fifteenth beats, and no Khali. It is used in Tagore’s compositions and very rarely in some other modern songs.

Theka of Nobopancho:

+1 2
Dha trkt   | dhin Dha Dhage dhin  |
1 2 3 4 5 6
3 4
dhin Dha Ta tere    | tin Ta
7 8 9 10 11 12
5
kot Tage    | tere dhin dhin Dha  ‡
13 14 15 16 17 18
+1
Dha
1

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