I wonder why this thread died off, apparently without a proper resolution.Nick H wrote:That any kriya was defined, in long-past days, as "having sound" was a great disservice to future generations, who not only have to live with the confusion, but also feel licensed to make sound when sound should only be made by those on stage!
Kriyas are a kind of notation, or signalling system. If all the numbers had the same name, we could still count, but nobody would understand. We do not give every beat in a cycle a different name, but we use sufficient number of names so that people may not be lost. Kriyas are, simply, symbolic of those names.
If we are to try to associate stress, or emphasis, with "sounded" kriyas, then what do we make of Misra Chapu talam, where the first two kriyas are (or should be!) without sound?
If, as you say (and as I also gather from other posts in this thread, by Sarmaji), there is no difference between the sashabda kriya and the nishabda kriya that is actually reflected in the performed music, if different talas with the same count (for example, adi, tishra jaati matya, khanda jaati jhampa, etc.) are interchangeable then why would the eduppu/graha of any composition by anything other than samam? Why can we not start Endaro Mahanubhavulu right at the "start" of the adi tala is is most familiar? What about ata tala varnams like Viriboni? It's already a long and complicated talam, wouldn't it be easier to start singing at the start of the tala cycle, if it made no difference in the music produced?
I have been trying to understand talam for a very long time now (like many others in this forum, I think!), and I would say I never had a strong sense of laya, to begin with (for, like most people, I found it easy to identify ragas almost as soon as I started listening to Indian classical music, and also developed a good grasp of swarasthanas soon enough, but could never really "feel" talas until I started trying consciously to develop it, and that has been going on for a long time now). Still, now I have a reasonable ability to feel and recognize the most common talas (almost always without actual counting), and even "sense" the eduppu correctly most of the time. So how can we resolve this with the claim that the kriyas and all "elements" of tala are only a system to make it easier to count, and have no musical bearing, and it is only the total count that really matters?
Also, regarding mishra chapu, I know use a nishabda kriya (veechu) to indicate the start, but have no idea why they do that. I've always found is natural to use only three claps (at the places 1, 4, 6)! In fact, this was the only talam I could actually "feel" at first, probably because of its chapu nature, and that too, mostly only in film songs (I suppose because they're generally faster). Again, if you maintain that only the count matters, I would ask you to try "putting" the mishra chapu tala to some familiar song but in a different way than usual! For example if it is Mamava Pattabhirama (Manirangu), the actual (or usual) split is:
||1 2 3 | 4 5 | 6 7 ||
|| Maaa | ma | va ||
||Pa... | tta. | abhi ||
||Raa.. | aa.. | ma..||
Instead, "reverse" the tala structure, so that it is now ||1 2 | 3 4 | 5 6 7 || (|| ta ka | dhi mi | ta ki ta ||), and try fitting this with the song (while it is playing, not while you sing it). Does it feel natural?