The Scheme of 35 talas:
Tala is defined as the musical time or measure.
In the word Tala – the first syllable to represent Sankara, the giver of happiness and the second syllable to represent Parvati or Sakti.
‘गीतम् वाद्यम् तथा न्रित्यम् यथास्थालो प्रतिष्टितम् ||’
“Vocal music, Instrumental music and nrityam depend on tala.
There are 7 basic talas.
ध्रुवो म्थ्य् रूपकस्छ झ्म्पा त्रिपुट्
अटतालेक तालेछ सप्त ताल प्रकीर्तितह
All these 7 talas are made of 3 basic angas. They are:
Laghu – I ; Dhrutam – O ; Anudrutam – U
Here are the sapta talas with their symbol denoting their respective angas.
- Dhruva talam – IOII
- Matya talam – IOI
- Rupaka talam – OI
- Jhampa talam – IUO
- Triputa talam – IOO
- Ata talam – IIOO
- Eka talam – I
Among the 3 angas, Dhrutam and Anudrutam are fixed. They have fixed number of aksharas. i.e., Dhrutam – 2 aksharas; and Anudrutam – 1 akshara.
However, laghu varies in the number of aksharas depending upon its jaati.
There are 5 jaatis or Pancha Jaatis of Laghu with their corresponding akshara kalas. They are:
- Trisra Jaati Laghu – 3 aksharas – I3
- Chaturasra Jaati Laghu – 4 aksharas – I4
- Khanda Jaati Laghu – 5 aksharas – I5
- Misra Jaati Laghu – 7 aksharas – I7
- Sankeerna Jaati Laghu – 9 aksharas – I9
Because of this jaati bhedam of Laghu, each of the sapta talas give 5 talas by varying the jaati of the laghu present. For example:-
- Trisra Jaati Rupaka talam will be – OI3
- Chaturasra Jaati Rupaka talam will be – OI4
- Khanda Jaati Rupaka talam will be – OI5
This way 7 talas of 5 jaatis each will yield 7 * 5 = 35 talas.
|Trisra||I3 = 3||OI3 = 5||I3UO = 6||I3OO = 7||I3OI3 = 8||I3I3OO=10||I3OI3I3 = 11|
|I4 = 4||OI4 = 6||I4UO = 7||I4OO = 8||I4OI4 = 10||I4I4OO=12||I4OI4 I4=14|
|Khanda||I5 = 5||OI5 = 7||I5UO = 8||I5OO = 9||I5OI5=12||I5I5OO=14||I5OI5 I5=17|
|Misra||I7 = 7||OI7 = 9||I7UO =10||I7OO= 11||I7OI7=16||I7I7OO=18||I7OI7 I7=23|
|Sankirna||I9 = 9||OI9 =11||I9UO =12||I9OO=13||I9OI9=20||I9I9OO=22||I9OI9 I9=29|
The subcounts are called Gatis. There are 5 varieties of Gati. They are:
- Trisra Gati 2. Chaturasra Gati 3. Khanda Gati 4. Misra Gati 5. Sankirna Gati
Hence 7 talas with 5 jaatis and 5 gatis will give us: 7 * 5 * 5 = 175 talas.
The talas are played mainly in 3 different tempos. That is 1st, 2nd and 3rd speed respectively.
The combination of all possibilities line up to= 175 * 3 = 535 variations.
How to read this chart? In this chart, the Jaathis from chathusram to Sankeernam is shown with the corresponding tala in terms of total Aksharas. For example, Chathusra Jaathi Dhruva Tala is 14 Aksharas and Thisra Jaathi Matya Tala is 8 Aksharas.
How to calculate the total Aksharas for a Tala? Chathusra Jaathi Dhruva Tala is 14 Aksharas and it is arrived at with the help of “Angam” shown in the chart. Dhruva Tala Angam is 1011 (see the chart). l=Lagu and O=Dhrutham. Dhrutham is 2 Akshara counts (Fixed). The lagu part will vary according to Jaathi. Chathusra Jaathi means 4 Akshara counts. There are 3 Lagus in Dhruva Tala. So, it is 3×4=12. So, 3 Lagus+1Dhrutham make (12+2) 14 Aksharas.
- Ata talam – Khanda Jaati.
- Laghu, Dhrutam and Anudrutam are 3 angas in a talam.
- Smallest talam is Trisra Jaati Eka talam with 3 kriyas.
- Biggest talam is Sankeerna Jaati Dhruva talam with 29 kriyas.
- Laghu is a constant factor in all sapta talas.
- Drutam is absent in Eka talam.
- Anudrutam is present only in Jhampa talam.
- Tala doesn’t end in Anudrutam.
- In case Jaati is not mentioned, we need to accept thus:
- Triputa talam – Trisra Jaati
- Dhruva, Mathya, Rupaka, Eka talams – Chaturasra Jaati
- Jhampa talam – Misra Jaati ******************************************************************************