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Lesson 9: Kahervā Tāla

 

As we enter our world of rhythms, we will encompass one of the most popular, versatile, and admired tālas of various genres of music. This is the tāla bearing of eight matras. The reason why eight matras is considered to be one of the preferred rhythms is because counting in “fours” or “eights” are easy to clap and follow. The sixteen matra tīntāl might not go to well with the mass public, as tīntāl is primarily used in classical music. However, eight matra tālas will continue to be popular as long as there is some iota of interest in music, whether one composes music or one listens to it.

 

Since eight matras tālas are quite popular, we will spend many weeks of lessons in examining these cycles. There are many eight matra tālas that exist, but the two key eight matra tālas that will be studied here are kahervā tāla (Lesson 9) and bhajani tāla (Lesson 11).

 

THEKA:

 

Kahervā Tāla is a tāla of eight matras divided 4+4. For this rhythmic cycle, based on musical tradition, the thekas definition will vary. For the nature of the music (kirtan) presented in this course, the theka for kahervā tāla is as follows.

 

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

dhā

ghe

ti

ka

dhin

 

The nā in this cycle is played like tā. You may use the playing technique for nā if you like, but replacing “nā” with “tā” is perfectly acceptable.

 

Practice the theka of kahervā using the bol or vibhāg method. Your theka should sound like the following like the following sound clip.

 

 

KARTAL USE:

 

As mentioned in Lesson 6 with the elementary kirtan rhythm, this also uses the common “three-strike” kartal rhythm. See the cycle below and the strokes the kartal below that

 

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

dhā

ghe

ti

ka

dhin

OPEN

 

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

 

CLOSED

CLOSED

 

Here is an audio file of how kartals fit here. Practice playing kahervā tāla.

 

 

 

ACCOMPANIMENT:

 

Let’s sing Hare Krishna with Kahervā Tāla. Again, this is very simple. Please try to sing along while playing the mridanga. Ultimately, when you play mridanga, you’ll end up singing whether you chose to lead the kirtan or sing in response. While accompaniment has not been formally studied, know that the sam (matra 1) falls on the word “krsna” (the first Krsna in the mahamantra).

 

 

Here is another accompaniment exercise with harmonium and kartals only. It is a jaya jagannātha kīrtana.

 

 

 

VIDEOS

·VIDEO CLIP 9 – 1: DIDACTIC

·VIDEO CLIP 9 – 2: PRACTICE

 

PRAKĀRS

 

Kahervā tāla has so many prakārs, that it is impractical to list them all. We will cover five new prakārs of kahervā tāla. Remember, prakārs are variations of the theka. To study the prakārs, please click on one of the tabs below.

 

9  A:

Prakārs 1 and 2

9  B:

Prakārs 3 and 4

9  C:

Prakār 5

 

UPDATED: August 17, 2017