Category Archives: Chapter 3: Rhythm

Tāla in Carnatic Classical Music

Carnatic classical music from south India uses a collection of rhythmic structures called tālas.  Each tāla is cyclic and organizes time in a particular way, including the number of beats per cycle.  In this video, the performer’s hand gestures indicate the tāla. These same gestures could accompany any piece using this tāla. Compare also the hand gestures used in the American tradition of shape-note singing and this over-the-top classical conductor.

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