How to identify talam in carnatic music

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In this work we propose a method to identify the raga of a Carnatic music signal. Raga is analogous to melody in Western music but is much richer and stronger in its representation. The main motive behind Raga identification is that it can be used as a good basis for music information retrieval of Carnatic music songs or Film songs based on Carnatic music.

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A review of raga based music classification and music information retrieval MIR P. M DeshmukhP. Deore Computer Science Raga identification of carnatic music using iterative clustering approach Hannah DanielA.

Chauhan Psychology References Publications referenced by this paper. SridharT. EveryJohn E. Szymanski Engineering Related Papers. By clicking accept or continuing to use the site, you agree to the terms outlined in our Privacy PolicyTerms of Serviceand Dataset License.Raga: Mayamalavagowla 15th Melakartha Ragam. Notation Courtesy: Rani, www. Notes from Chitra Veena Ravi Kiran's book with some additions :.

Musical Phrases: It is important to first practice karvai long notes: see the sarali varisai class before the varishais. Gradually simple combinations of notes can be tried. Over a few sessions, the phrases can get perceptibly sophisticated.

Akaaram : After a few such sessions, the same phrases can be rendered using the vowel "a" as in " A merica". This is called "akaaram" and it is a very integral part of Carnatic music, with particular reference to vocal music. Thus, exposure to akarams is very essential at this stage, albeit in a simple form. Varishais - Sequences :. The great composer Purandara Dasa, hailed as the Father of Carnatic music, created a set of fundamental exercises nearly years ago, which are followed even today.

There are 4 main types of varishais. Sarali Varishais: These fundamental sequences enable the student to get a feel of melody with rhythm. The logic is quite obvious here. The 1st varishai is a plain ascent and descent of the notes of the raga. The 2nd varishai focuses on the second note from S, namely R in the ascent and N in the descent. The 3rd varishai centers on the third note G and D in the ascent and descent respectively.

The fourth varishai concentrates on the fourth note M and P. This goes on upto the 7th varishai. The last 3 are general exercises. Some books have split the last sarali varishai into 5 parts, but singing it as a single varishai is more instructive. Janta Varishais: These are forceful sequences, which facilitate the students to add weight and majesty to their voice.Tala is an ancient music concept traceable to Vedic era texts of Hinduismsuch as the Samaveda and methods for singing the Vedic hymns.

There on, during the tumultuous period of Islamic rule of the Indian subcontinent, the traditions separated and evolved into distinct forms. The tala system of the north is called Hindustaniwhile the south is called Carnatic. Tala in the Indian tradition embraces the time dimension of music, the means by which musical rhythm and form were guided and expressed. In the major classical Indian music traditions, the beats are hierarchically arranged based on how the music piece is to be performed.

Tala has other contextual meanings in ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism.

Tala (music)

For example, it means trochee in Sanskrit prosody. According to David Nelson — an Ethnomusicology scholar specializing in Carnatic music, a tala in Indian music covers "the whole subject of musical meter". The tala forms the metrical structure that repeats, in a cyclical harmony, from the start to end of any particular song or dance segment, making it conceptually analogous to meters in Western music.

For example, some talas are much longer than any classical Western meter, such as a framework based on 29 beats whose cycle takes about 45 seconds to complete when performed. Another sophistication in talas is the lack of "strong, weak" beat composition typical of the traditional European meter.

In classical Indian traditions, the tala is not restricted to permutations of strong and weak beats, but its flexibility permits the accent of a beat to be decided by the shape of musical phrase.

A tala measures musical time in Indian music. However, it does not imply a regular repeating accent pattern, instead its hierarchical arrangement depends on how the musical piece is supposed to be performed. Each tala has subunits. In other words, the larger cyclic tala pattern has embedded smaller cyclic patterns, and both of these rhythmic patterns provide the musician and the audience to experience the play of harmonious and discordant patterns at two planes.

A musician can choose to intentionally challenge a pattern at the subunit level by contradicting the talaexplore the pattern in exciting ways, then bring the music and audience experience back to the fundamental pattern of cyclical beats. The tala as the time cycle, and the raga as the melodic framework, are the two foundational elements of classical Indian music. The basic rhythmic phrase of a tala when rendered on a percussive instrument such as tabla is called a theka.

Both raga and tala are open frameworks for creativity and allow theoretically infinite number of possibilities, however, the tradition considers talas as basic.

how to identify talam in carnatic music

The roots of tala and music in ancient India are found in the Vedic literature of Hinduism. The earliest Indian thought combined three arts, instrumental music vadyavocal music gita and dance nrtta. The Samaveda is organized into two formats. One part is based on the musical meter, another by the aim of the rituals.

These markings identify which units are to be sung in a single breath, each unit based on multiples of one eighth. The hymns of Samaveda contain melodic content, form, rhythm and metric organization. The Rigveda embeds the musical meter too, without the kind of elaboration found in the Samaveda.

For example, the Gayatri mantra contains three metric lines of exactly eight syllables, with an embedded ternary rhythm. According to Lewis Rowell — a professor of Music specializing on classical Indian music, the need and impulse to develop mathematically precise musical meters in the Vedic era may have been driven by the Indian use of oral tradition for transmitting vast amounts of Vedic literature.

Deeply and systematically embedded structure and meters may have enabled the ancient Indians a means to detect and correct any errors of memory or oral transmission from one person or generation to the next. The Vedic texts were orally composed and transmitted, without the use of script, in an unbroken line of transmission from teacher to student that was formalized early on. This ensured an impeccable textual transmission superior to the classical texts of other cultures; it is, in fact, something like a tape-recording Not just the actual words, but even the long-lost musical tonal accent as in old Greek or in Japanese has been preserved up to the present.

The Samaveda also included a system of chironomyor hand signals to set the recital speed. These were mudras finger and palm postures and jatis finger counts of the beata system at the foundation of talas. This system is also the basis of every tala. In the ancient traditions of Hinduism, two musical genre appeared, namely Gandharva formal, composed, ceremonial music and Gana informal, improvised, entertainment music.

how to identify talam in carnatic music

The classic Sanskrit text Natya Shastra is at the foundation of the numerous classical music and dance of India. Before Natyashastra was finalized, the ancient Indian traditions had classified musical instruments into four groups based on their acoustic principle how they work, rather than the material they are made of.This cycle is called Adi Tala or Talam.

So in order to execute the exercise perfectly, we need to understand a few elements of this Tala. The musical time is maintained by the performer by playing the tala through hand gestures.

Watch the video to learn how to put Adi Talam. Aksharam refers to the number of musical notes that we fit in a beat. This is the unit of musical time. So depending on how many notes we fit into each beat, the name of the kalam or speed changes. Humans are intrinsically given to imperfection. So when we try maintain Tala using our intrinsic sense of rhythm, we tend to make errors in timing. So we can avoid that by taking the help of a metronome.

Constant practice with a metronome significantly improves our internal sense of time. The metronome works by providing us clicks or other sounds at regular intervals. We can change the tempo of the metronome to our requirement. The metronome offers us very precise control of the placement of beats. So it is an invaluable tool for practice, especially when starting out as a beginner. Thank you so much for explaining the basics. This is what iam looking forand I could not find it elsewhere.

Very helpful and informative. Such a wonderful and informative stuff. Now I could atleast try to understand the basic jargon used in the Carnatic music. Thanks so much!! Thank you very much in making me understand the basics of Music. I would like to learn Violin under your guidence.

Thank you very much. The basics are explained nicely. I would like to learn music under you. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Video Content.

Carnatic Vocal

Speeds of using Notes Aksharam refers to the number of musical notes that we fit in a beat.There is some theoretical basis for why there is an odd number seven of swaras and we will deal with this subsequently. For simplicity, let us fix the Sa at one kattai and place the remaining swaras at the successive white keys. This provides us with a scale or a raga in this case, containing all the seven swaras. As mentioned previously, ancient Vedic chants have but three swaras and somewhat later forms of music Indian as well as other forms, eg.

Chinese use five swaras - eg. Our present system is based on seven swaras, and perhaps, a few thousand years from now, the human race will advance to a point of discriminating scales of more swaras unlikely. The seven swaras are mythologically associated with the sounds produced by certain animals and the names of the swaras are related to the names of these animals. The name Madhyamam appears to be related to the central or madhya location in the seven notes and Panchamam is most probably derived from the number five, denoting the position of the note.

We observed earlier that doubling the pitch of a swara by a factor of two results in going up in pitch by one octave. Thus, doubling the pitch of Sa say Sa1 results in another Sa Sa2 which is one octave higher than our original Sa.

A further doubling produces Sa3 which is one octave higher than Sa2 and two octaves above Sa1. Three times the original Sa produces the Pa located between Sa2 and Sa3.

In other words, the pitch of the swara Pa is one and half times the pitch of the Sa below it and three fourths the pitch of the Sa above it.

Now we come to an important limitation of the keyboard - the way the octave is divided into the twelve swara sthanas. Since it is based on current western music norms, the division is done on a logarithmic basis which is just a more technical way of saying that the pitch values of the successive swara sthanas form a geometric progression.

An octave is a factor of two and there are twelve intervals in it. If we make all the intervals equal to a multiplicative factor x, then the pitch corresponding to any key will be x times the pitch of the key white or black immediately to the left of it. Extending the procedure we arrive at what the value of x should be. Then, we have x to be the twelfth root of two or a factor of approximately 1.

Using this logarthmic division procedure, Pa the 8th swara sthana corresponds not to a ratio of 1. Though the discrepancy is very small, a well trained ear eg. Carnatic music is based not on logarithmic division but on rational division.Hope you enjoy it! The measure of musical time in Carnatic Music is called Tala or Talam. Tala is to music what meter is to poetry. It acts as the regulating factor in musical compositions. Carnatic Music has extensive and complex classification schemes for all possible patterns of Tala.

Similar to meter in poetry, only a handful of Talas are commonly used. There have been various classification schemes of Tala in Carnatic Music.

The ancient anga Talas which include the 5 Margi and Desi Talasthe 72 Melakartha Tala system which was designed to fit the 72 Melakartha Raaga classificationand the Suladi Sapta Tala system which was popularized during the time of Purandara Dasa — and has been attributed to him are some of the classification schemes. The Suladi Sapta Tala system is most in vogue today, with other classification schemes still studied and performed to, though such performances are limited to Raagam Thaanam Pallavi compositions or special percussion concerts called Laya Vinyasa.

Laya — concept of Rhythm. While we will focus on the Suladi Sapta Tala system, we will highlight important facets of the other classification systems which the Suladi Sapta Tala system borrows from, when necessary. The sapta Talas form the basis of a series of musical exercises referred to as Sapta Tala Alankaras and are ascribed to Purandara Dasa.

These exercises provide every Carnatic music student with a comprehensive training in melodic and rhythmic structure. Tala is a cyclic repetition of a given rhythmic pattern. One complete cycle of a Tala is called an Avartanam, with each cycle consisting of a number of beats called Aksharas. Aksharas can be further subdivided into Mathras. A Tala is characterized by 10 features or essences, called the Tala Dasapranas Dasa — 10, Prana — essence.

Though not fully elaborated on, in order to understand the concept of Dasapranas, here is a brief description of each:. Angas meaning limb, or part define the structure of a Tala, and form its constituent parts. In the ancient classification, there were 6 angas. In the Suladi Sapta Tala system, only the first 3 angas are utilized. The Anudhrutham and the Dhrutham are fixed in duration, while the Laghu is variable in duration.

In the anga classification, the Laghu was of a fixed duration of 4 Aksharas. In the Suladi Sapta Tala system, there are 7 Tala families, each having a specific combination of angas. Among the angas of a Tala, the Laghu alone is variable.

A particular Laghu variant is called a Jati meaning kind or type. There are 5 such Jatis, each denoting the duration of the Laghu. Thus, for each of the 7 Tala families, there are 5 varieties of Jatis, giving us 35 7 Tala families x 5 Jatis possible combinations.

Nadai or Gati is the manner in which the intervals between each Akshara is counted or the numerical content of each Akshara. It defines the number of Mathras in each Akshara. There may be 3, 4, 5, 7, or 9 sub-units per Akshara or Kriya. Each of the 35 Talas above can be played in a particular Nadai, leading to 35 Talas x 5 Nadais different combinations, as specified by the Suladi Tala, its Jati, and its Nadai.

The Dhruthams have 2 Aksharas each, for a total of 8 Aksharas. Because the Tala is of Chatusra Nadai, each Akshara is divided into 4 sub-divisions or Mathras, for a total of 32 8 Aksharas x 4 subdivisions Mathras. Each Tala family has a default Jati associated with it; the Tala name mentioned without qualification refers to the default Jati.If frequency and related concepts like tone, scale and octaves form an important ingredient in music, the other equally important element is time and related items like speed, rhythm, meter etc.

In fact, a musical piece is nothing but a source of sound emitting soundwaves as a function of time. If you looked into the Western system of musical notation, the 'Staff notation' you would have noticed that frequency is notated on the Y axis and time is given in the horizontal axis.

Let us forget about the frequencies etc for this chapter and see how a melody progresses in time. The first concept is 'speed'.

Adi Tala and Speeds - Carnatic Music Lessons

Any song, even 'Jana gana mana' and 'Roop tera mastaanaa. You must have played some old records at a slow speed or fast speed and had a good laugh when you were small The Western music and Hindustani music recognize various degrees of speed or tempo, all the way from very, very slow to ultra fast. This has often led to arbitrariness in speed when songs are performed. Some musicians become well-known for slow rendition of songs. And perhaps an equal number have become equally well-known for their fast rendition of perhaps the very same songs.

History and tradition have been the guidelines for the 'speed' of a Karnatic piece. Since the concept is hardly invoked, we will not discuss it any further. We will not impose an Adagio one of the many Western music tempos or Vilambit a slow speed used in Hindustani music on Karnatic compositions.

Once the speed is chosen, Karnatic music is reasonably strict about keeping the speed constant - you should not slow down or speed up during the course of a song unless mandated. However, Karnatic musicians occassionally double and even quadruple their speeds relative to their fundamental speed during the course of certain pieces, just to build up the mood. In fact, lately, there have been songs rendered in 'seven speeds', much like a Hamilton Beach blender. The basic speed is referred to as 'First kaalam', literally meaning, first speed and correspondingly, when the baud rate is doubled it is called 'second kaalam' and when quadrupled, it is called 'third kaalam'.

Let us now look at the other concepts such as rhythm and meter. Rhythm is probably the most fundamental aspect of music. Ancient civilizations beat their drums much before they made their harps and lutes. Repetitive sound patterns, such as the pulsation of the heart, are so primitive that everyone can relate to them. When we sing 'Roop tera mastaanaa. Amazing, isn't it. We can tap our feet or pat our thighs or clap as we sing 'Roop tera mastaanaa.

How about 'Baa baa black sheep' or 'jana gana mana'? How many times did you 'beat' during the first lines of these pieces? What you have been doing by tapping or patting is simply 'meter'ing the song to count how long each line lasted - sort of counting minutes.

how to identify talam in carnatic music

Let us now look at why such metering is important. Songs are 'structured' - they have lines, stanzas and melodic phrases, much like prose having paragraphs and sentences and words. A good way to write 'Roop tera.

Raga Identification of Carnatic music for Music Information Retrieval

There is a cyclical repetition. At the beginning of the first and the third, fifth and seventh beat, a new musical phrase begins. If the time interval between your clapping or beats is T seconds, then each small melody lasts 2T seconds and the entire opening stanza lasts 8T seconds. In fact, if you went through the rest of this song, you will see that there are some longer melodies lasting 4T seconds.

Now, on to our next example: Baa baa black sheep Four beats Have you any wool Three beats Yes sir, yes sir Four beats Three bags full Three beats difficult to figure out.

The melodic structure lasts either three beats or four beats. We can therefore conclude that the periodicity is seven beats, with a substructure of Four-beats and Three-beats.


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