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Lesson 4: Combination Bols


This is the final set of bols that that we will look at. In examining the past weeks, we see that we have learned bols exclusively on the dayan (Lesson 2) and bols exclusively on the baya (Lesson 3). This lesson will focus on bols that are produced with both dayan and baya sides being struck. These are called combination bols.


There are three types of combination bol. Fully resonant bols are bols that are fully resonant from dayan and baya. Collectively, it is a resonant sound. Partially resonant bols are bols that have one puri producing resonance while the other puri producing non-resonance. It is a mixture between a resonant and a non-resonant sound. Finally, nonresonant bols are bols that have the dayan and baya produce nonresonant bols. Collectively, it is a nonresonant sound.




For resonant bols, the baya bols can vary. Thus, any resonant baya bol (gha/ga/gin) can be used. For display sake, I included gha as the representative baya bol.




Dhā = Tā + Ga/Gha/Gin 


Dhā, as shown by the above equation is a combination of striking tā and the open baya bol. This is the most popular baya bol to exist due to its versatile application in musical compositions. This is usually considered to be a starting bol or finishing bol for most rhythmic cycles. Play gha and tā separately. Then play the dhā bol to hear how it sounds like.





Jhā = Ga/Gha/Gin + Tā delayed


Jhā is just like a Dhā, in the respect that gha/ga/gin are used along with tā. However, the tā used for jhā is slightly delayed. Gha/Ga/Gin is played on the baya, first. A second after the baya has been struck, the dayan’s head is struck to play the tā bol. Even though it does not sound uniform as the dhā bol and other bols we will study, jhā is generally accepted as a fully resonant bol. Click here to listen how jhā sounds. Then compare this to dhā to hear the difference in the delayed tā.







Dhin = Ti + Ga/Gha/Gin

Dhin is a very famous partially resonant bol. This bol is produced by playing ti and an open baya bol. Musical purists will call this combined bol as “dhi” rather than “dhin,” because there is another bol “tin” (which have not and won’t study). “Tin” and “open baya” will technically produce a “dhin” sound. However, for the scope of this course, just remember that “ti” and “open baya” makes a “dhin” bol. Remember, that dhin is partially resonant because gha (or open baya sound) is resonant but ti is not. Listen to ti and gha and listen to dhin together.


Emphasized dayan


In higher pitched musical instruments like tabla and khol, resonant dayan bols can be emphasized loudly with the help of ka. For instance, an emphasized tā is ka + tā. When we say the bol, it is simply pronounced as “tā”, but with more emphasis than the normal tā. This also applies for nā. When we write it, for conventions sake, we can use upper-case letters to indicate this sort of emphasis. Hence “ka + tā” or “ka + nā” yields “Tā” or “Nā” respectively. Remember, this is only for resonant dayan bols.






Kat = Ka + Ti


Kat is a non-resonant bol which is played by ka on the baya and ti on the dayan. This is like an emphasized dayan, only with the dayan being non-resonant with ti. Since both of these bols are non-resonant, it is fair to say that this bols is fully non-resonant.


This is the final page in learning bols. The bols are the alphabet to the mridanga. We didn’t cover all of the bols that exist, but we covered just the most important ones. In the next lesson, we will make small words and phrases.


·VIDEO CLIP 4: Combination Bols


UPDATED: November 27, 2013