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Lesson 13: Lophā Tāla

 

Lophā tāla is a rhythmic cycle found commonly in Bengali folk and classical music. Amongst devotees, lophā tāla is one of the many rhythmic cycles used to accompany songs, most popularly, Namamisvaram Saccidananda Rupam (Sri Damodarastakam). It is a twelve mātrā cycle divided 3+3+2+2+2, though this has been disputed. This is the reason why some musicologists may classify this as a prakār as Bengali ektāl (Lesson 14).

 

Here is the theka:

 

X

 

 

2

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

dhā

ghe

dhin

ghe

dhin

0

 

3

 

0

 

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

ti

ke

ke

ti

 

This is a symmetrical tāla with some interesting points to take note of.

-      First, the only thing the dāyān side is doing is tā PAUSE ghe.

-      In addition, the bāyā bols are not truly even. The first vibhāg had all three of its bols occupied with an open bāyā, while the next vibhāg has bāyā bols on unlikely spots. The final three vibhāgs all lack resonant bāyā bols (i.e. Mātrā 11 with ke-ke).

 

While it looks easy, it is somewhat challenging due to the unusual for the reasons just mentioned. Therefore, the vibhāg method of learning rhythmic cycles will be employed. In the following clip, you will hear the vibhags broken down.

 

 

AUDIO CLIP 13 1: Lophā Tāla Vibhag Breakdown

 

 

Practice this theka with kartals. Interestingly enough, kartal players can accompany this tāla without much difficulty, as opposed to any other tiśra jātī tālas. Listen to the rhythmic cycle and practice lophā tāla with the audio clip.

 

 

ACCOMPANIMENT PRACTICE:

 

Since this rhythmic cycle is known to be accompanying the Damodarastakam, the following audio clip contains instrumental version of the eight verses of this song. Use lophā tāla to accompany this bhajan.

 

 

 

 

 

VIDEOS:

 

http://kksongs.org/images/video_play.png VIDEO CLIP 13 1: DIDACTIC

 

http://kksongs.org/images/video_play.png VIDEO CLIP 13 1: DIDACTIC

 

UPDATED: October 15, 2017