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Lesson 18: Eight Matra Mukhras

 

This lesson will discuss mukhras, or cadence forms that starts before a cycle or ends a cycle. Just as we’ve done in Lesson 5 with the phrases, they are taught as phrases. Since mukhras are not rhythmic cycles or tālas, they cannot be taught in the same that we learned tālas like Kaherva, Prabhupāda, bhajani, etc. Therefore, there are no vibhags or tala numbers.

 

MUKHRA 1

 

This mukhra is very famous and most commonly used in medium tempo kirtans or fast tempo kirtans slowing down to medium tempos. The bols for the mukhra are as follows:

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

ti

ki

ti

dhā

ti

ki

ti

dhā

ti

ki

ti

 

 

As a side note, this mukhra is a type of tihai. A tihai is a mukhra which consists of a repetition of a phrase three times. It can be seen that a repetition of “trkt dha” is done for a total of three times.

 

Lastly, in this mukhra, the “” in the ti ā ki ti phrases can be replaced with “ra.” For Bengali musicians, their “re” is an open bol played by the thumb so it will sound the same.

 

 

MUKHRA 2:

 

1

2

3

4

te

ra

te

ra

 

This mukhra is used right before or during the drut lay kaherva tala, or in bhajani tala (any laya). This particular mukhra is known as a pick-up. Note the capital “T” in “Ta” implying the use of ka along with ta.

 

Also note that this is using a bol that was considered to be an optional bol “te.” It’s easier to play with “te”, although playing this with “ti” is perfectly acceptable.

 

 

MUKHRA 3 A:

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

ti

ti

Ke

ti

ra

ki

ti

ke

ti

ra

ki

ti

 

This is a complex mukhra used in a variety of ways. It is a very refined mukhra that gives the “roll” sound the tabla is very famous for. This is usually played fast and is compressed into 4 beats for eight beat cycles. This is commonly seen in bhajans and less frequently in kirtans.

 

MUKHRA 3 B:

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

ti

ti

ti

ti

ti

ti

tāke

tira

kiti

tāke

tira

kiti

 

 

Sometimes, there a prefix mukhra is added on top of this mukhra to form this phrase. Again, this is used in bhajans frequently and less commonly in kirtans.

 

MUKHRA 4:

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

ti

ki

ti

dhā

–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

ti

ki

ti

dhā

–

ti

ki

ti

 

 

This is a complex tihai. Unlike the tihai shown in Mukhra 1, this one has space between the repetition of the phrase “ titā kiti dhā

 

 

LAGGI:

 

X

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

dhā

 

dhā

 

dhā

gha

gha

 

 

A laggi is a cyclic form (hence, the tala number on top) that involves excessive usage of baya usage. This particular laggi is a version of kaherva tala that you may use when the kirtana reaches a very quick tempo or the peak of the kirtan when there are tell-tale signs of the kirtana ending. Note the irregular spacing in.

 

 

TOD:

 

A tod (pronounced “toad”, lit. “break”) is a rhythmic piece that can sometimes show the ending of a set of cycles or end. Two tods are presented here.

 

TOD 1:

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

dhin

 

dhin

 

 

1

 

jhā

 

 

This is used specifically to end the cycle. Please note that this is the first time we are ever using the bol “jhā.” If you have forgotten how to play this bol, please review Lesson 4 of this series.

 

TOD 2:

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

6

 

7

 

8

 

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

(8)

(9)

(10)

(11)

(12)

(13)

(14)

(15)

(16)

dhin

gha

dhin

gha

dhin

gha

 

 

Tod 2 is an eight matra mukhra. Because this has many off-beat points, playing this cycle just by reading it is very difficult. Therefore, it has been spread out to make it look like a sixteen beat cycle. To avoid confusion, the sixteen beat counting scheme is indicated using parenthesis.

 

Like the way you’ve studied the phrases in Lesson 5, you should study these phrases very well. In Lesson 20, showing how these phrases are actually used in the tālas you’ve learned.

 

UPDATED: July 5, 2011