have many cycles in our life. We have natural cycles like
the changing of night-time and day-time and unnatural
cycles like dividing the day into 24 hours or dividing
the week into seven days.
tala (means: clap) is a rythmic-cycle, which starts
at the beginning of a gat (composition) and shows
the proper music-tempo (vilambit-slow, madhya-medium,
drut-fast) whithout any break until the end of
the gat, or even until the end of the raga.
most important moment of the tala is the sam
(joint, union), which is usually the first matra
(beat) of the cycle. The second most important beat is
the khali (empty), which is the unstressed part
of the tala.
sam is not only the beginning of the tala, but
even a concluding item. Many phrases (tan, tihai)
ends on sam.
the tala-cycles of a raga, if played well, follow one
another like pearls on a string.
same length of beats could be divided into different talas,
using different dividing-systems. The 16 beats can be
played as tintala, sitarkhanitala, or even
aditala. Of course, there are some rules which
tell the appropriate tala for a composition.
sound samples which you can listen to with the listed
talas are in madhya (medium) tempo and all
are 4 cycles long. In vilambit (slow) tempo or
even in ati-vilambit (very slow) tempo, which you
can hear mainly in vocal performances, the tala
has a different bol-set. The stresses are constant,
so the beats, stressed or unstressed, are left unchanged.
In case of tintala you can listen to a vilambit
stereo system you can listen separately, the bols
(left channel) and the instrumental version (right channel).