Misra Chapu – Subdivision Exercise 2 (Video)

This video is a follow up to a previous lesson on Misra Chapu. This exercise uses the same subdivisions but introduces them in a different order. The rearrangement of the subdivisions is a simple concept but in practice posses challenges. This idea is applied in numerous konnakol phrases and quickly gets one to reexamine ways that any collection of rhythmic phrases can be permuted.


Misra Chapu 7 Beat Cycle – Subdivision Exercise 1 (Video)

Below is a video of Sreenath Sreenivasan demonstrating the Misra Chapu Thalum while reciting the phrase Ta Ki Ta Ta Ka Di Mi & Ta Ka Di Mi Ta Ki Ta in different subdivisions. This is a great way to lock in the Misra Chapu Thalum and get more comfortable in 7/4 time. Supporting notated content for this video can be found here.

Raga Saraswati Alap – Vocals w. Guitar Accompaniment (Video)

Below is a clip from the 2013-14 USIEF Conference in Chennai. Manasa Suresh, a fellow Fulbrighter and up and coming Carnatic vocalist from northern California, is singing an alap, or melodic introduction, on Raga Saraswati. An alap introduces a raga, typically outlining the raga in distinct portions: tonic to 5th, 5th to upper tonic, upper register, return down to tonic, below the tonic, then conclusion.

Raga Saraswati contains the 1 – 2 – #4 – 5 – 6 – 8 on the ascent and 8 – b7 – 6 – 5 – #4 – 2 – 1 on the descent. While Manasa sings her outline of the raga, my role is to support her, by mimicking as closely as possible her vocal lines. This is very characteristic of a Carnatic Alap, where the vocalist sings and the instrumentalist follows the vocal line, almost like a delay. It is quite challenging, but an incredible musical experience. Please enjoy!

Misra Chapu – The 7 Beat Cycle (Audio)

We’ve covered an 8 beat cycle with Adi Thalum; a 5 beat cycle with Kanda Chapu; and now we explore Misra Chapu, the 7 beat cycle. Misra Chapu, known in Hindustani Music as Rupak, is shown by a series of claps and waves: wave on beat 1; wave on beat 2; clap on beat 4; clap on beat 6. It’s recited as Ta Ki Ta Ta Ka Di Mi, which is a 3 + 4 division of 7 beats. Below I’ve recited Misra Chapu is a variety of subdivisions. Mastering these exercises will dramatically improve one’s comfort with 7/4 and will inspire new ways to view 7 (it’s not just 12 12 123 anymore)! A downloadable pdf of this lesson with notation is available at the bottom of the page, but try learning this by ear before checking that out.

Misra Chapu, 7/4 time, in Quarter Notes

Misra Chapu, 7/4 time, in 8th Notes

Misra Chapu, 7/4 time, in 16th Notes

Misra Chapu, 7/4 time, in Triplets

Misra Chapu, 7/4 time, in Quarter Note Triplets

Misra Chapu 7 beat cycle

Tha Din Gi Na Thom In Action

The first lesson on this site is dedicated to Tha Din Gi Na Thom, one of the fundamental rhythmic phrases in Carnatic music. Below I’ve posted a solo I took over John Scofield’s tune, “Chank,” where I’m using a range of Tha Din Gi Na Thom phrases. I found it very challenging to work these phrases into my playing initially and to do so organically, but after isolating the phrases and using them as I play scales, sticking to one phrase as I solo over simple forms, etc, I’m finding that it’s getting more comfortable and convincing. Layering them into my playing has added a new dimension of rhythmic and melodic shape to my playing and provides me with a new outlet of expression. I hope this serves as inspiration to those of you who are trying to work these new cells into your own playing and would love to hear how you are applying this new language into your own work!

Solo clip from “Chank”

Adi Thalum Displacement Exercise – Ta Ki Ta (Video)

Here’s a follow up video to the first displacement exercise we covered also in Adi Thalum, but this time displacing our phrase, Ta Ka Di Mi Ta Ka Ju Nu, by three 16th notes using the three beat phrase, Ta Ki Ta. Try learning this exercise through the video before checking out the notation, which is available to download at the bottom of the page.