LEARNING CARNATIC MUSIC
Structure of Talam
Information provided by T.N.Chitra
Thus, from the above, we understand
that a tala has laghu, drtham and these are called Angams (parts) of the
tala. In some cases, there may be half of drtham, i.e., just the beat of
the palm without turning it and is called Anudrtham.
Each and every talam has a structure,
that is governed by the rules pertaining to it. For example, if we take
the most common tala - Chatusra Jaathi Triputa Talam (Adi Talam), we can
describe the process of the tala thus :
1 beat of the palm of the hand on
followed by counting three fingers,
then beating the palm and turning it over, then beating the palm and turning
If we count a number each for every
beat, fingercount or turn of the palm - the number comes to eight. So the
tala has eight units. The units are called Aksharams and the Adi
talam has 8 aksharams.
The first part of the tala which
consists of the beating of the palm and counting is called Laghu.
Here the number of units is 4 (Chatusram) and the laghu is Chatusra laghu.
The Jaathi of the laghu determines the jaathi of the tala so the tala is
Chatusrajaathi Adi Tala.
The next process of beat and turning
the palm is called Drtham. It is done twice, so the tala has 2 drthams.
Thus Chatusra Jaathi Triputa Talam(Adi) has one Chatusra Laghu and two
drthams. The symbol for laghu is 1 and the number written beneath it represents
the jaathi and the symbol for drtham is 0 and hence, this thalam will be