Talas or Chandas with fractional (incomplete) beats

Tālam & Layam related topics
Post Reply
Christian Kenit Ram
Posts: 48
Joined: 11 Oct 2016, 22:23
x 3
x 4

#1 Talas or Chandas with fractional (incomplete) beats

Post by Christian Kenit Ram » 17 Jul 2018, 11:53

Here is one example by Konnakol artist BC Manjunath doing a Korvai ( Muktaya in Kannada) in an unspecified 15/8 Tala . ( Sometimes he gives more specific infos concerning the name of a Tala , but not in this case ) . Interestingly , he has put " 7 and half " in the tags .

The Kriyas are like Adi Talam ( Renda Kalai ) , only that instead of the last thattu and veechu ( 4 aksharas ) he makes two claps and a pause ( 3 aksharas - like for Tishra chapu or for the last 3 counts of Khanda chapu ) .

Maybe this Tala ( well , he doesn´t call it Tala , but others like L. Shankar and Rafael Reina have called similar fractional rhythms as Talas ) would fit under the category of Samyuktanga , with a tendency to Chando-rupa . It might not fit into the rules of Talaprastara to be called as a tala according to some .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTOLA3pZ-PE
Last edited by Christian Kenit Ram on 17 Jul 2018, 22:32, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

SrinathK
Posts: 1915
Joined: 13 Jan 2013, 16:10
x 101
x 338

#2 Re: Talas with fractional ( incomplete ) beats

Post by SrinathK » 17 Jul 2018, 13:12

Every fractional pattern can be resolved into a pattern of whole beats by changing the degree of speed. Any pattern with a half beat can be resolved by multiplying it by 2.

The rules of tAlaprastAra use the concept of jAti and work with the 6 tAlAngas only. The lengths of those tAlangas vary according to the jAti, but are fixed for a given jAti (more precisely, only the laghu, guru, plutam and kakapadam vary keeping the same 1:2:3:4 ratio) and therefore only certain combinations can work out as tAlas. A 1+2+2+2 combination can only be A+D+D+D where A is Anudhrutam = 1 and D is Dhrutam = 2 counts.

Therefore what is called tAlA is a subset of chanda with some rules thrown in. The rules of tAlaprastAra therefore apply only to the modern desiya tAlA system with 6 angas.

Everything outside this framework is a valid chanda, but it cannot be made to fit into these rules. By that yardstick, even the chApu 'tAlAs' like mishra chApu or khaNDa chApu, while they are popularly called as tAlAs, are actually chandas as they do not have true tAlAngas and use 1/2 beats, which means their beat length is variable.

For many chandas, they use some improvised 'angas', but then you could have a 5 beat laghu followed by a 7 beat laghu, which means the length of their 'angas' is not fixed either. That is why they are not tAlAs - they're freestyle. But this much technicality will break people's heads.

Just to let you know, it doesn't take much effort to make any number of rhythmic patterns and a beat pattern to fit within them - you can very easily do it manually using combinatorics. If you need more, I'll tell you what -- with a simple binary conversion of a number to 18 bit binary my Excel sheet created 4000 pages of patterns in a jiffy, and if I divide all of them by 2 about half of them will be meters of this 'chApu' nature.

Let us say we have a pattern like 1+2+4+4+2 = 13. Dividing this by 2 can give you a 6.5 beat pattern (0.5+1+2+2+1) and after that the hard part is naming it. This 6.5 beat pattern cannot be rendered with the 6 tAlAngas, although it is possible to render the original 13 beat pattern with them (A+D+L+L+D) and even give the serial number of which pattern of 13 that is.

The problem of tAlA only arises when you have to follow the 10 rules distinguishing a proper tAlA from a meter (chanda). It is totally possible to create and use any number of meters, no one is against that, that is not a wrong practice or forbidden, and I am not criticizing the efforts of the musicians to try and explore these possibilities. I appreciate the effort.

It is just that not all of these chandas are tAlAs. In comparison to tAlas, you will find these half beat chandAs having less overall capability for things like naDa bhEdam or using 2x or 4x kalai and so on. A compromise in one of the elements leads to compromises elsewhere.

Their main benefit is that by dissecting a cycle into a certain sub-beat pattern, they make certain patterns and combinations more obvious and easier to access - for e.g. the patterns possible in mishra chApu are not so obvious or easy to master in a normal Adi tAla in mishra naDai.
Last edited by SrinathK on 18 Jul 2018, 12:59, edited 4 times in total.
0 x

Christian Kenit Ram
Posts: 48
Joined: 11 Oct 2016, 22:23
x 3
x 4

#3 Re: Talas with fractional ( incomplete ) beats

Post by Christian Kenit Ram » 17 Jul 2018, 22:13

Thanks for the elaborate reply .
( SrinathK wrote : ) Everything outside this framework is a valid chanda, but it cannot be made to fit into these rules. By that yardstick, even the chApu 'tAlAs' like mishra chApu or khaNDa chApu, while they are popularly called as tAlAs, are actually chandas as they do not have true tAlAngas and use 1/2 beats, which means their beat length is variable. But this much technicality will break people's heads.
This part of the theory is actually clear to me . That´s why I use 2,5 aksharas instead of 5 aksharas for Khanda Chapu in my personal notes .
Just to let you know, it doesn't take much effort to make any number of rhythmic patterns and a beat pattern to fit within them - you can very easily do it manually. If you need more, I'll tell you what -- with a simple binary conversion of a number to 18 bit binary my Excel sheet created 4000 pages of patterns in a jiffy, and if I divide all of them by 2 about half of them will be meters of this 'chApu' nature.
Maybe I´ll come back to this paragraph in the future , but for the moment I am planning to refer to some older posts who deal with similar topics and with serial numbers also .
Their main benefit is that by dissecting a cycle, they make certain patterns and combinations more obvious and easier to access - for e.g. the patterns possible in mishra chApu are not so obvious or easy to master in a normal Adi tAla in mishra naDai.
That remembers me of the fun that it is to transpose a Mohra or a Korvai from Mishra Chapu to Adi tala - Mishra Gati : Some parts that were on the beat become syncopated and vice-versa .

PS: I changed the title to include Chandas .
0 x

SrinathK
Posts: 1915
Joined: 13 Jan 2013, 16:10
x 101
x 338

#4 Re: Talas or Chandas with fractional ( incomplete ) beats

Post by SrinathK » 18 Jul 2018, 13:14

When we say that many rhythmic patterns cannot be rendered as tALAs, it is not an injunction that forbids you or a law that makes it illegal, it is in fact a physical impossibility to preserve the original nature of a certain rhythmic pattern in the act of trying to fit it into a tALA. These patterns have to be recognized as freestyle chandas.
0 x

msakella
Posts: 1891
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 21:16
x 48

#5 Re: Talas or Chandas with fractional ( incomplete ) beats

Post by msakella » 28 Jul 2018, 07:26

Each and everybody prefers to enjoy freestyle only in any aspect but not a well-disciplined one at all. amsharma
0 x

Post Reply