Glossary

Bayan ('left'), aka Duggi: the left hand, bass drum. The shell is constructed of copper, sometimes nickel-plated, or brass.

Bhari: open, lit. full. Refers to the part of a Kaida, using resonating baya strokes.Opposite of Khali, meaning empty, the part with non-resonating baya strokes. More info here.
Haridas Vhatkar's Tabla shop,
Mumbai

Bol
: vocal percussion. Each played stroke has a corresponding spoken sound. There are individual bols for each drum, combination bols where both drums are played together. Can also refer to strings of bols (think words, made up of letters) as in 'what was that bol again?' …'TetekeagedigheneDha' or whole compositions.

Chakradar-a large Tihai, where each phrase (palla) ends with a Tihai. Can be a fixed composition or just a really big tihai.

Chalan-a type of tabla repertoire. This one is weird…can be a fixed composition, or a groovy theme-and-variations type of thing.
Chalan-kaida-a chalan that has a strong resemblance to a kaida? Groovy theme and variations tabla rep.

Chatusra: 4 subdivisions of the beat

Dayan (aka tabla): (lit 'right') the right hand, treble drum. The shell is constructed of wood.

Gab-the black spot on the tabla and baya, made of iron filings, charcoal and rice, which gives drums their unique tone. There are a number of individual and combination strokes played on the gab, Tete, for example. Really far out technology. Need to do a post about it.

Gat-type of tabla repertoire. Fixed composition, consisting of very elaborate and extravagant combinations of strokes. Sometimes, no tihai even!

Gharana-lit. 'House'. Style. Goes back to when the tabla tradition was kept alive in families. There are 6 Gharanas: Delhi, Farukhabad, Lucknow, Adrada, Punjab and Benares, and you'll notice those are all places…

Jhaptal (10 beats), divided 2-3-2-3
Theka: Dhin Na | Dhin Dhin Na | Tin Na | Dhin Dhin Na

Kaida-the best thing in the world, EVER! A type of tabla repertoire with theme and variations. Lots of rules. Very cool. Big detailed post here.

Kaida-Rela-combination of a Kaida and a Real. Can mean that there are strokes in the kaida that can be played as a rela, or that the treatment of the bols goes from kaida to rela.

Khali- closed, lit. empty. Refers to the part of a Kaida where non-resonating baya strokes are used. More detail here.

Khanda Nadai-5 subdivisions of the beat

Kinar-outer edge of the tabla head, where Na is played.

Lehara
-a looping melody that marks the rhythmic cycle.

Mrdanga Yati-a rhythmic phase that goes from smaller to larger to smaller again:

Takita
Takadimi
TakitaTakadimi
Takadimi
Takita

Nagma (see Lehara)

Palla-one third of a tihai. As in 'duuude….the second palla of this tihai is 1/4 beat off-beat, and I can't do it"…"bummer dude"

Palta Theka-an introductory tabla composition that uses the strokes of the Theka as a basis for improv/creation.

Paran: similar to a Thukra, but with strokes derived from the Pakhawaj drum, an older relative of the tabla. Also, compositions derived from Kathak dance repertoire.

Peshkar: another improvised theme-and-variations form, played at the beginning of a tabla solo, with strokes derived from the theka.

Rela: tabla repertoire with theme-and-variations. Relas are constructed of shorter, speedier strokes than Kaidas, and are generally played faster. Rela literally means 'a flood' or 'rushing'. Think train.

Sam-the first beat of a rhythmic cycle. VERY IMPORTANT. It's where 99.99% of tihais and fixed compositions land.

Srotogata Yati-a rhythmic shape where the phrases move from smaller to larger.

Sur: The part of the tabla head between the kinar and the gab. The stoke 'tin' aka 'ta' is played here. Sur literally means 'tone'.

Tala-the concept of time in Indian music, a rhythmic cycle.

Theka-fixed strokes that outline/illustrate a Tala.

Thukra: A short, pre-composed composition, ending with a tihai.

Tihai: a phrase repeated three times, with the final stroke landing on sam, the first beat of the rhythmic cycle. Tihais commonly end both improvised and pre-composed tabla forms, and are used throughout Indian music and dance.

Tintal (16 beats), divided 4-4-4-4
Theka: Dha Dhin Dhin Dha | Dha Dhin Dhin Dha | Dha Tin Tin Ta | Ta Dhin Dhin Dha

Tisra: triplets, 3 subdivisions of the beat

Uthan-a very elaborate introductory tabla composition that often moves through different subdivisions and has a monster tihai. The monster truck entrance of tabla.


2 comments:

  1. wow this really helps thanx can u find these definitions please
    Aroh
    Avaroh
    Pakar
    Vadi
    Samvadi
    Naad
    Shruti
    Swara
    Saptak
    thank u
    from pajitablaji

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  2. You have nicely discussed many important terms of Tabla: Bayan, Bhari, Bol, Chakradar, Chatusra, Dayan, Jhaptal, Kaida, etc. Interested people can learn about basics of tabla from the tabla wiki section of ipassio. Also, students can learn tabla training course from Sunayana Ghosh on ipassio.com. Apart from Sunayna Ghosh, Sourabh Goho, Alpesh Moharir offers introduction to tabla with the basic terms you have discussed. For learning basics of hindustani music, tabla learning is an important part. Once the students learn theories on tabla, they would be able to play this percussion instrument better.

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