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Art of Tabla-Rhythm

Essential, Tradition, and Creativity by: Sudhir Kumar Saxena

Beginning with the evolution of the Tabla, the book deals comprehensively with Tabla rhythm and explains the technique of producing the basic bols. It further describes the way to do reyaz on the Tabla, and explains the principal compositions that make up a standard Tabla recital. The CD accompanying the book carries samples of the Tabla of the major gharanas.

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ISBN: 9788124603680
Year Of Publication: 2006
Edition: 2nd
Pages : xv, 184
Bibliographic Details : With a Compact Disc; Glossarial Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 25 cm.
Weight: 475

Overview

This authoritative work deals comprehensively with Tabla rhythm, focusing on the performed art with an eye to its history and aesthetics. It is aimed at the Tabla student, the Tabla performer, as well as the inquiring listener of Hindustani music, for whom it encapsulates a Tabla practitioner’s knowledge in these matters acquired over a lifetime of learning and teaching. Beginning with the evolution of the Tabla, the book explains the technique of producing the basic bols. It further describes the way to do reyaz on the Tabla, to maintain the instrument through changing seasons, and to raise and moderate its pitch, besides other practical directions. The author explains the principal compositions that make up a standard Tabla recital, and how they may be played in solo and sangat contexts. The major gharanas of Tabla are discussed critically, and their notated compositions are provided in both Roman and Devanagari scripts. The CD accompanying the book carries samples of the tabla of these gharanas recorded under the author’s direction, as well as demonstrations of compositions used as illustrations in the book. Grounded in traditional learning in Tabla rhythm, the book is written with a rational, empirical mind, and in a lucid manner all along which makes it accessible to a wide range of musicians and listeners.

Contents

Plan of Transliteration
Preface
Acknowledgement
1. Introduction
2. Alphabets of Rhythm and Ways to Play Them
3. Reyaz or The Discipline of Practice
4. Vocabulary of Tabla Rhythm
5. Two Idioms of Tabla Rhythm: Solo and Accompaniment
6. Gharanas of Tabla
7. Principles of Composition
8. Creativity at Work : Author’s Own Compositions
9. Epilogue
Glossarial Index

Meet the Author
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1923
The first drummer in India to have worked as Professor of Tabla at a centre of higher learning, Sudhir Kumar Saxena (1923-2007), retired from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, in 1983 as head of its music department, after serving the institution for thirty-three years. Besides teaching Tabla to generations of students, a lifetime work which he lovingly continued in retirement at his residence, Professor Saxena had, in his long career (1945-1995), participated in most of the major music conferences of the country as a Tabla accompanist to almost every front-ranking musician and Kathak dancer. His pupils abound. Some of them are themselves distinguished teachers in India and other countries. Many more are serving All India Radio; and some of them, the very university where he worked as a teacher. All of them are proud of the authentic training they had received - authentic because Professor Saxena himself had the privilege of learning the art for years from Ustad Habeebuddin Khan, the doyen of the Ajrada gharana of Tabla. As an accompanist, Professor Saxena had always delighted not only audiences, but the main artiste as well, be it a musician or a Kathak dancer. As a teacher, he was analytic, and therefore easy to follow. This book should bear it out.As an accompanist, Professor Saxena has always delighted not only audiences, but the main artiste as well, be it a musician or a Kathak dancer. As a teacher, he is analytic, and therefore easy to follow. This book should bear it out.
Books of Sudhir Kumar Saxena