Teental vilambit, madhya
Total time: 43.52
Asit Pal was born in Calcutta in 1952 into a family of musicians. When
he was barely eight years old, he received tuition from his father
Manick Pal, one of the most famous tabla players in India. At the age of
fourteen, he won the first prize of the Howrah Music Competition. Since
then, he has not looked back and has taken part in all the important
festivals of Bengal. He graduated from the University of Allahabad -
Prayag Sangit Samiti - and started teaching in 1971. He is as proficient
as an accompanist as he is at playing solo. He is on the permanent
staff of All India Radio and accompanies the most prestigious musicians
of India, including vocalist Jnan Prakash Ghosh, sarod player Amjad Ali
Khan, violinist V.G. Jog and sitarist Subroto Roy Chowdhury.
Since 1983, Asit Pal has toured Europe extensively, giving solo concerts
and performing with other artists. Worthy of mention are also his
concerts with American jazz saxophonist Steve Lacy and Mexican flute
player Luis Romero Montes. His delicate and brilliant virtuosity has
always been enthusiastically acclaimed by the audience, who admires the
aesthetically perfect balance between the right and the left hand as
well as his playing in the style of the Farukhabad Gharana: subtle,
sweet, pleasant and clear, reminiscent of the great Ustad Keramatullah
This recording will provide a rare and enriching experience for those
who wish to travel in the luxuriant and highly sophisticated world of
Indian rhythms. Here Asit Pal displays astounding skill and technique
coupled with aesthetic awareness. He performs with a high degree of
inventiveness which, however, always remains within the borders of the
classical rules of improvisation: creativity linked to a profound
respect of millennial traditions.
The name tabla is given to a pair of drums that are said to have
resulted from the division of the mridangam, the double headed drum of
the Vedic age. Tabla is also the name of the wooden higher pitched drum
of this set, which is played with the right hand, whereas the left hand
"bass&qzit; drum with its metal body is called bayan. The playing
surface on both drums is usually made of goat skin. A black disk
consisting of a mixture of charcoal, rice flour and other ingredients is
pasted onto the skin to further enhance and enrich the sound of the
instrument. An elaborate system of leather thongs, rings and small
wooden dowels enables the player to tune the tabla to various pitches
with the greatest precision. The drums are played with the fingers, the
finger tips, the palms and the wrists on the different areas of the
playing surface. There are immense possibilities for variation.
derived from the mridangam is a two-headed, barrel-shaped drum held in a
horizontal position and used for accompaniment and folk music.
a double headed drum played horizontally for accompanying kirtana - Bengali mystical songs -, devotional as well as folk songs.
This long-necked, lute-type instrument resembles a sitar in shape, but
has only four strings and no frets. It supplies the sustained and
constant drone characteristic of Indian vocal and instrumental music.
By using the spoken drum language in which each drum stroke is named by
mnemotechnical syllables called bol-s, which work both as a memory aid
and form of notation, the time cycles, tal, played on this record can be
represented as follows:
1. Teental, 16 beats (division 4+4+4+4), vilambit (slow), madhya
(medium), played on tabla. This tal is used to accompany North Indian
vocal and instrumental music - classical and light.
2. Dhamar, 14 beats (division 5+2+3+4), madhya (medium), played on
tabla. This tal is used to accompany classical Dhamar singing and
3. Dadra, 6 beats (division 3+3), madhya (medium), played on tabla
and khol. This tal is used to accompany classical and light music
4. Kaharwa, 4 beats (division 2+2), drut ((ast), played on tabla and
dhol. This tal is used to accompany classical and light music.
5. Dadra, 3 beats (division 1,5+1,5), drut (fast), played on tabla,
khol and dhol. This tal is used to accompany light and classical
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