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Laya Lahiri : Tala Terminologies

Welcome back to the next episode of 'Laya Lahari'.  Before we move on to discuss about each tala in detail, we must learn the various commonly terms used by Mridangam experts.

In this episode Suri talks about the initial lessons given to a student when he joins the Mridangam classes.  First the teacher begins lessons with small rhythmic patterns referred like 'Tha - Dhit - Thom - Num', 'Ki - Ta - Tha - Ka', 'Thaka-Thari-Kita-Thaka' and so on.  These are the fundamental 'Sorkkal or Sollu' that would help the student to later on play complicated tala patterns.  

After this, the student learns 'Farhan' patterns which comprises long complicated sorkkal. 'Farhan',  'Uruttu Sorkkal' or 'Mel kala Sorkkal' all mean the same.  Apart from this the student also learns the 'Teka Sorkkal' which begins with 'Num-Dhin'.

Suri also highlights the subtle differences observed in various schools of Mridangam in teaching these lessons.  

More terms to be discussed in the coming weeks, do stay tuned!

Laya Lahiri section discusses the fundamentals of rhythm or laya, which forms an integral part of Carnatic music. Vidwan Thillaisthanam R. Suriyanarayanan explains the common and 'must-know' aspects of laya through his mridangam demonstrations. (Explanations in Tamil) This is by no means exhaustive but we hope this would be a good beginner's guide for rasikas to get started with percussion in Carnatic music.