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Lesson 12: Introduction to Tisra Jāti: Dādrā Tāla and Khemtā Tāla

 

Up to this point, every rhythmic cycle studied was based on counts of 4s. Tintal has sixteen mātrās, Kahervā tāla has eight mātrās, Prabhupāda has sixteen mātrās, and Bhajani tāla has eight mātrās. To re-emphasize rhythms, kartal accompaniment was primarily cycles of four. Just as a refresher, play the audio clip and count out 1-2-3-4 as indicated in the rhythmic diagram below.

 

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1

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4

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This category of rhythms is formally known as cataśra jātī, or the “caste of rhythms based on counts of 4.” For Lesson 12, 13, and 14, we will discuss rhythmic cycles that are in counts of 3s. This is known as tisra jātī. There are five rhythmic cycles that we will study.

 

Dādrā Tāla (Lesson 12)

Khemta Tāla (Lesson 12)

Lopha Tāla (Lesson 13)

Bengali Ektāl (Lesson 14)

Bengali Dādrā (Lesson 14)

 

The tisra jātī rhythms are not commonly heard in kirtans, although we will learn a very special cyclic set used in kirtans later on. They have a very important place in bhajans. The most well known bhajan that’s sung in the month of Kartik (Damodara) is the Damodarastakam. In Lessons 13 and 14, you will learn how to accompany this song.

 

KARTAL ACCOMPANIMENT FOR TISRA JĀTĪ RHYTHMS:

 

For the most part, kartal accompaniment for these rhythmic cycles will be the following diagram. Notice that you only strike the kartal twice, as opposed to three times in the 4 beat cycle. This is why people refer to these songs as “two-beat” songs, while the more common cycles of four are referred to as “three-beat” songs. It’s actually supposed to be “two-strikes” and “three-strikes” respectively.

 

Look at the diagram below and count out 1-2-3 to get a feel of how the kartals are supposed to sound. Later on in this and the next two lessons, you will have kartals join you.

 

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1

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Here is a video explaining the concept of the tiśra jātī.

 

 

http://kksongs.org/images/video_play.png   VIDEO CLIP 12 – 1: Introduction of Tiśra Jātī

 

 

Now, we will begin two common rhythmic cycles.

 

 

 

DĀDRĀ TĀLA

 

Just as kahervā is the most commonly used cycle in the cataśra category, dādrā tāla is the most commonly used cycle in the tiśra category. Like with kahervā, the definition of the theka of this tāla is will vary based on tradition. The structure of the tāla remains the same. It is a six mātrā cycle divided 3+3. The bols for the theka is as follows:

 

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dhā

dhin

dhā

ti

 

You may substitute “nā” with “tā” in mātrā 3.

 

If you are playing this correctly, this will vaguely resemble a waltz-like rhythm. You will also notice that this is a symmetrical tāla. All the dayan is really doing is “tā ti tā” over and over again. The only thing that differs is the baya.

 

 

Let’s try playing this with kartals. If the kartals are played correctly, the overlap should look and sound like this.

 

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1

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dhā

dhin

dhā

ti

OPEN

 

CLOSED

OPEN

 

CLOSED

 

 

Unlike the previous lessons, musical practice/accompaniment will not be discussed here. Accompaniment for these tālas will be discussed in the accompaniment lectures.

 

This video will introduce dādrā tāla and a practice exercise with this rhythmic cycle.

 

http://kksongs.org/images/video_play.png   VIDEO CLIP 12 – 2: Dādrā Tāla

 

KHEMTĀ TĀLA

 

Another well-known six beat cycle used in folk music, especially in Gujarat, is known as “khemta tāla.” This has the same tāla structure like dādrā tāla. However, unlike dādrā tāla, the way the rhythm makes good use of half-mātrās in mātrās 2 and 5 of this cycle.

 

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dhin

dhin

kat

kat

 

 

Like dādrā, the kartal scheme fits this cycle too.

 

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1

2

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5

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dhin

dhin

kat

kat

OPEN

 

CLOSED

OPEN

 

CLOSED

 

 

 

http://kksongs.org/images/video_play.png   VIDEO CLIP 12 – 3: Khemtā Tāla

 

ACCOMPANIMENT PRACTICE

 

Before we examine some variations of dādrā tāla and khemtā tāla, let’s practice with some kirtanas.

 

The first kirtana is a pranati kirtana. You will notice very quickly that the melody is very similar to the pranati kirtana that we have done before in previous lessons. However, it is set to a tiśra jātī rhythm. For this exercise, use dādrā tāla to accompany this kirtana. Also, note the difference between this kirtana and a cataśra jātī kirtana.

 

 

The next exercise is set to khemtā tāla. This is based off of Raga Tilaka Kamod, an evening raga.

 

 

 

 

12 A:

Dādrā Tāla

Prakars 1 and 2

12 B:

Dādrā Tāla

Prakars 3 and 4

12 C:

Khemta Tāla Prakar

 

UPDATED: November 15, 2017