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.
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!
This is a written supplement to the audio lesson on Misra Chapu, which can be found here. Misra Chapu is the 7 beat cycle in Carnatic music. It can be thought of as 7/4 time. Start with the audio lesson first before checking out this notated content. You can download this lesson at the bottom of the page. Continue reading →
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.
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!
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.
This video demonstrates a classic rhythmic displacement exercise in Carnatic music. In the 8 beat cycle Adi Thalum, the phrase Ta Ka Di Mi Ta Ka Ju Nu is displaced by a 16th note via the phrase Ta Ka Ta Ki Ta, a cell of five 16th notes. Watch the video and attempt to figure out the exercise. If you need help, check out the attached pdf, available to download, at the bottom of the page.
This is a written supplement to the audio lesson on Kanda Chapu, which can be found here. Kanda Chapu is the 5 beat cycle in Carnatic music. It can be thought of as 5/4 time. Start with the audio lesson first before checking out this notated content. You can download this lesson at the bottom of the page. Continue reading →
Kanda Chapu is the 5 beat thalum or cycle in Carnatic music. It can be thought of as 5/4 time. It is shown through a series of claps: Clap on beat 1; Clap on beat 3; Clap on beat 4.
Kanda Chapu can be recited using syllables Ta Ka Ta Ki Ta, a 2 + 3 beat grouping. The audio below is a series of exercises in Kanda Chapu. Each clip shows Kanda Chapu thalum while reciting Ta Ka Ta Ki Ta in different subdivisions. This is great practice for strengthening one’s time feel and getting more comfortable in 5/4 time. Try learning this material by ear. A downloadable pdf of this lesson is available at the bottom of the page with these exercises written in western notation. Have fun!
Kanda Chapu with Ta Ka Ta Ki Ta in Quarter Notes
Kanda Chapu with Ta Ka Ta Ki Ta in 8th Notes
Kanda Chapu with Ta Ka Ta Ki Ta in 16th Notes
Kanda Chapu with Ta Ka Ta Ki Ta in Triplets
Kanda Chapu with Ta Ka Ta Ki Ta in Quarter Note Triplets