Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Discussions about the Indian hand-drums known as tabla.

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singhhh_ap
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:31 pm

Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby singhhh_ap » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:26 pm

I would like to know what are the rules we should keep in mind when we create new variations for the Kaida? Is there a guide available which teaches how to create new variations.

Challenge:

Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmWG-YxNUiA

Benarsidass
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:17 am

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby Benarsidass » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:04 am

Here are a few notes from a website I'm working on (to be launched sometime in the near future, I hope). There are examples to go with this, but I can't port those over from the website without a lot of work. So, just to get the ball rolling:

General Guidelines of Kayda Development

Nearly everyone agrees on a few basic guidelines of kayda development:
- Only bols (strokes and phrases) from the original theme should be used.
- Variations keep the original tali-khali structure of the theme (with a few exceptions).
- Variations are developed systematically (more or less).

Kayda variations are developed systematically
Traditional kayda variations are generally developed systematically, but only in a very loose sense of the term “systematic”. There is no strict formula for kayda development.

There are some common patterns and approaches, but they are very flexible. And every kayda presents its own possibilities for creative variations.

Below are some general approaches and techniques for creating traditional kayda variations. Keep in mind that the number of different kaydas and possible variations is vast, and there will be many exceptions to the guidelines and techniques below.

Systematic approaches to creating kayda variations:
- first create variations from the largest bols (phrases) in the theme
- then create variations from smaller bols
- focus on bols which have a “strong connection”
- develop multiple variations from the same bols before moving on to other bols
- include the original theme (or part of it) at the end of the new variation
- create new themes from smaller phrases, and then create variations based on the new theme according to the same approaches above

Common techniques for creating the variations:
- repeat bols
- rearrange bols
- substitute bols
- invert bols
- add pauses between bols

profpandit
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby profpandit » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:29 am

singhhh_ap wrote:I would like to know what are the rules we should keep in mind when we create new variations for the Kaida? Is there a guide available which teaches how to create new variations.

Challenge:

Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmWG-YxNUiA


The nature of variations is fundamentally not analytical, but constructive.
You are trying to expand on an existing construction that has been designed.
You look for patterns (read phrases) in the kaida and play around with their permutations.
So, the best way to go about it is to follow no rules
except to use your own judgement as to what sequence sounds good

Benarsidass
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:17 am

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby Benarsidass » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:15 am

It's true that skills like kayda development are traditionally learned implicitly through good examples and guidance from a master (in other words, not analytically). But that doesn't mean that there isn't a systematic approach, or that one shouldn't follow guidelines. "Kayda" means "system of rules" or "method" after all. And if you look at variations from any master, or listen to most traditional tabla solos, you'll usually see development of paltas along the lines mentioned above.

I've witnessed many a student, including myself, create variations that were technically correct, but simply didn't sound right to my teacher or senior gurubais. It's takes a long time to develop that ear.

So just telling students to create their own variations based on what sounds good to them is not always the best advice. Because it's not about what sounds good to you, it's about what sounds right in the tradition. With time, that will become what sounds good to you.

profpandit
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby profpandit » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:47 am

Benarsidass wrote:It's true that skills like kayda development are traditionally learned implicitly through good examples and guidance from a master (in other words, not analytically). But that doesn't mean that there isn't a systematic approach, or that one shouldn't follow guidelines. "Kayda" means "system of rules" or "method" after all. And if you look at variations from any master, or listen to most traditional tabla solos, you'll usually see development of paltas along the lines mentioned above.

I've witnessed many a student, including myself, create variations that were technically correct, but simply didn't sound right to my teacher or senior gurubais. It's takes a long time to develop that ear.

So just telling students to create their own variations based on what sounds good to them is not always the best advice. Because it's not about what sounds good to you, it's about what sounds right in the tradition. With time, that will become what sounds good to you.


OP was interested in creating paltas for kaidas.
I think that is a sufficient condition to start on this path.
Of course playing paltas and kaida and listening to others play them plays a role
but the motivation to embark on this path suggests interest
and beyond that its trial and error and a process of discovery
I don't think lack of experience should be a gating factor in starting to explore this
Sometimes, and this is one of those times, sticklers who cannon tradition
impede progress.
Screw tradition. What does that have to do with creating paltas?

Benarsidass
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:17 am

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby Benarsidass » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:52 am

profpandit wrote:Screw tradition. What does that have to do with creating paltas?


Creating paltas is the tradition. And that's what the original question was about. If you're saying the tradition is for "sticklers" or "impedes progress" then that's a different question.

But there's no denying most players follow the general guidelines and approaches of the tradition (with lots of creative exceptions). And I don't think singhhh_ap really cares whether or not you agree with that traditional approach. He's just trying to understand it.

evening84
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:23 pm
Location: Ottawa
Contact:

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby evening84 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:59 am

profpandit wrote:Screw tradition. What does that have to do with creating paltas?


That has got to be one of the most ridiculous statements that I have ever heard here. And coming from you Khitchdee (or profpandit, the new avatar), that is saying something because the bar for bullshit has been set incredibly high.

Of-course, the creation of paltas has everything to do with tradition. In spite of all the differences between various gharanas, there is very little that separates them in how the paltas are developed from a kayada theme within each tradition. And there most certainly is a method to the madness, quite succinctly put forward by Benarsidass.

Nobody is stopping any one from merrily going forward and creating one's own paltas, howsoever one sees fit. Nobody can stop one from becoming a New Age musician.
My karma ran over your dogma
http://evening84.blogspot.com/

profpandit
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby profpandit » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:59 pm

evening84 wrote:
profpandit wrote:Screw tradition. What does that have to do with creating paltas?


That has got to be one of the most ridiculous statements that I have ever heard here. And coming from you Khitchdee (or profpandit, the new avatar), that is saying something because the bar for bullshit has been set incredibly high.

Of-course, the creation of paltas has everything to do with tradition. In spite of all the differences between various gharanas, there is very little that separates them in how the paltas are developed from a kayada theme within each tradition. And there most certainly is a method to the madness, quite succinctly put forward by Benarsidass.

Nobody is stopping any one from merrily going forward and creating one's own paltas, howsoever one sees fit. Nobody can stop one from becoming a New Age musician.


Well, unless you belong to one those gharanas, you have no hope or option
And clearly OP doesn't seem to belong to one of those gharanas
else he/she wouldn't be asking this question here.
Do you see my point?
While these are methods that the gharanas have developed to create paltas
and possibly some of the new proponents of those gharanas are developing more,
there is absolutely no harm in creating new ways of creating paltas
This is music after all, don't forget
There are people in the music industry with no training or very little
and this message board doesn't seem to be a very traditional way to communicate
given that the internet is only about 40 years old
and some of those aforementioned gharanas claim their fame in several centuries of age
So if you want to create paltas the traditional way, go to Benaras

hbajpai
Posts: 892
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:46 pm

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby hbajpai » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:01 pm

singhhh_ap wrote:I would like to know what are the rules we should keep in mind when we create new variations for the Kaida? Is there a guide available which teaches how to create new variations.

Challenge:

Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmWG-YxNUiA


This subject has been covered on this forum. Many published books by experts and stalwarts describe how to do this much better than I have attempted below. I agree with Benarsidass and Evening84.

I am assuming one knows the cardinal rule in Kaida expansion. Only the available phrases in the main theme are used. I.e. No new phrases are introduced. We can dissect this one rule alone later.

If I have made cut-paste errors, please provide your corrections. Finally, the variations provided below are quite simple and very systematically structural. One can still follow this sequence, but present each one of the variations differently. The idea is to present a systematic, structural sequence.

Let us take the main theme or the "Mukh" as originally provided:
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

The first set of paltas establish "Hath Sadhana" or setting the hands. I am sure you will see why? Because of the in-place repetitions.
Dohra
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga / Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Adha-Dohra
Dha-tete Dhetetete Dha-tete Dhetetete / Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetetete Ta-tete Thetetete / Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Adha-Adha-Dohra (as my friend calls it)
Dha-tete Dha-tete Dha-tete Dhetetete / Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Ta-tete Ta-tete Thetetete / Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

The next set of platas, allow one to learn the time sequence behind the kaida.
Vishram
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / Dha(sss) (ssss) Ghedenag Denetaga (say DhaAAAAAAA Ghednag Denetaga)
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga / Ta(sss) (ssss) Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Adha-Vishram
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Dha(sss) / Ghedenag Denetaga Ghedenag Denetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Ta(sss) / Kedenag Tenetaga Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Adha-Adha Vishram with an off-beat spin
Dha-tete Dhetetete (ssss) Dhetete / Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetete (ssss) Thetetete / Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Again, the above 3 examples explore the very basic time signature of the kaida and allows one to learn the time slices.

After this section, the actual paltas begin. Most common way is to gradually take phrases in the sequence from the kaida and expand upon them. The more advance players will not only take phrases, but also the time slices in parallel. I will let the board explore and discuss some of these paltas. After exploring this approach, one starts doing other things like "Laut-Palut" or back to front. Bhari/Khali mixes. Humble demonstration of strength and by exploding out into repetitive TiTe's etc.

Hope this helps.

singhhh_ap
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:31 pm

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby singhhh_ap » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:13 pm

Thanks to all who are responding to this with their input. Mr. Bajpai, you are being very humble for your knowledge. :)

Can you please share the names of the published books where this topic has been discussed?

hbajpai
Posts: 892
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:46 pm

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby hbajpai » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:07 pm

Pick up books by any Tabla stalwart, musicologist. A short list of names below.
1. David Courtney
2. Arvind Mulgaonkar
3. Sadanand Naimpally
4. Sudhir Mainkar

Alternatively, listen to any traditionally trained, performing artist. Listening will enhance other skills too.

One needs to get to a point where one ahould be able to extract the main theme just by listening at single speed. Then using the expansion structure derive at least 20-25 paltas quite easily.

Liquid
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:57 pm
Contact:

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby Liquid » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:54 am

My latest tabla tutorial gives some ideas on creating paltas from kaidas. You can check it out here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrriE6zW7vA
Twitter: http://twitter.com/PraveenSawh
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/PraveenSawh
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/PraveenSawh

profpandit
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby profpandit » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:28 am

hbajpai wrote:
singhhh_ap wrote:I would like to know what are the rules we should keep in mind when we create new variations for the Kaida? Is there a guide available which teaches how to create new variations.

Challenge:

Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmWG-YxNUiA


This subject has been covered on this forum. Many published books by experts and stalwarts describe how to do this much better than I have attempted below. I agree with Benarsidass and Evening84.

I am assuming one knows the cardinal rule in Kaida expansion. Only the available phrases in the main theme are used. I.e. No new phrases are introduced. We can dissect this one rule alone later.

If I have made cut-paste errors, please provide your corrections. Finally, the variations provided below are quite simple and very systematically structural. One can still follow this sequence, but present each one of the variations differently. The idea is to present a systematic, structural sequence.

Let us take the main theme or the "Mukh" as originally provided:
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

The first set of paltas establish "Hath Sadhana" or setting the hands. I am sure you will see why? Because of the in-place repetitions.
Dohra
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga / Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Adha-Dohra
Dha-tete Dhetetete Dha-tete Dhetetete / Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetetete Ta-tete Thetetete / Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Adha-Adha-Dohra (as my friend calls it)
Dha-tete Dha-tete Dha-tete Dhetetete / Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Ta-tete Ta-tete Thetetete / Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

The next set of platas, allow one to learn the time sequence behind the kaida.
Vishram
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / Dha(sss) (ssss) Ghedenag Denetaga (say DhaAAAAAAA Ghednag Denetaga)
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga / Ta(sss) (ssss) Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Adha-Vishram
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Dha(sss) / Ghedenag Denetaga Ghedenag Denetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Ta(sss) / Kedenag Tenetaga Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Adha-Adha Vishram with an off-beat spin
Dha-tete Dhetetete (ssss) Dhetete / Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete
Ta-tete Thetete (ssss) Thetetete / Ta-tete Thetetete Kedenag Tenetaga
Dha-tete Dhetetete Ghedenag Denetaga / tetetete Ghedenag Denenaga Terekete

Again, the above 3 examples explore the very basic time signature of the kaida and allows one to learn the time slices.

After this section, the actual paltas begin. Most common way is to gradually take phrases in the sequence from the kaida and expand upon them. The more advance players will not only take phrases, but also the time slices in parallel. I will let the board explore and discuss some of these paltas. After exploring this approach, one starts doing other things like "Laut-Palut" or back to front. Bhari/Khali mixes. Humble demonstration of strength and by exploding out into repetitive TiTe's etc.

Hope this helps.


This is a good analysis.
As one can see, it's been arrived at using some very simple constructs
such as changing speed (and inserting silence) and phase (going off-beat)

If I were tying to design paltas, I would start with with just these constructs.
The exercise of going through the design would probably reveal why certain paltas have been designed a certain way
That would be a more useful exercise that monkey style "cut and paste"
which is the way you are suggesting

Also, I am assuming OP want to go beyond hath-sadhana
For that purpose, the paltas designed by past experts are probably enough
because they were designed for that purpose

Liquid
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:57 pm
Contact:

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby Liquid » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:38 pm

profpandit wrote:This is a good analysis.
As one can see, it's been arrived at using some very simple constructs
such as changing speed (and inserting silence) and phase (going off-beat)

If I were tying to design paltas, I would start with with just these constructs.
The exercise of going through the design would probably reveal why certain paltas have been designed a certain way
That would be a more useful exercise that monkey style "cut and paste"
which is the way you are suggesting

Also, I am assuming OP want to go beyond hath-sadhana
For that purpose, the paltas designed by past experts are probably enough
because they were designed for that purpose


Hi profpandit, not sure if the “monkey style cut and paste" comment was directed at me but here are my thoughts. There are many ways of coming up with variations. In the video I give some ideas that involve thinking abstractly about numbers. There is benefit to this not only in the production of variations but also in deepening one’s understanding of the phrases and concept of rhythm. If one can learn to play series of 5’s or 7’s etc, starting at different points, and know where each one falls in relation to the underlying pulse, that will go a long way to develop one's sense of rhythm. Kaidas are a great way to hash out these sequences programmatically in one's study and practice. Then, when it comes time to go on stage and perform, these ideas will naturally come out but not necessarily be limited to the context of kaida.

This is one of many approaches to creating. One should learn and apply as many as possible to get a well-rounded skillset. Above all, creativity should be guided by the stories that you want to tell. Maybe there's a certain phrase or idea you want to expand upon. You can express this in a sequence of variations, one leading to the next, that reveals the story as the performance unfolds. The more tools you have to create, and the more proficient you are at using those tools, the more freedom you will have to do this :)
Twitter: http://twitter.com/PraveenSawh
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/PraveenSawh
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/PraveenSawh

profpandit
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Creating Paltas for Kaidas

Postby profpandit » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:53 pm

Liquid wrote:
profpandit wrote:This is a good analysis.
As one can see, it's been arrived at using some very simple constructs
such as changing speed (and inserting silence) and phase (going off-beat)

If I were tying to design paltas, I would start with with just these constructs.
The exercise of going through the design would probably reveal why certain paltas have been designed a certain way
That would be a more useful exercise that monkey style "cut and paste"
which is the way you are suggesting

Also, I am assuming OP want to go beyond hath-sadhana
For that purpose, the paltas designed by past experts are probably enough
because they were designed for that purpose


Hi profpandit, not sure if the “monkey style cut and paste" comment was directed at me but here are my thoughts. There are many ways of coming up with variations. In the video I give some ideas that involve thinking abstractly about numbers. There is benefit to this not only in the production of variations but also in deepening one’s understanding of the phrases and concept of rhythm. If one can learn to play series of 5’s or 7’s etc, starting at different points, and know where each one falls in relation to the underlying pulse, that will go a long way to develop one's sense of rhythm. Kaidas are a great way to hash out these sequences programmatically in one's study and practice. Then, when it comes time to go on stage and perform, these ideas will naturally come out but not necessarily be limited to the context of kaida.

This is one of many approaches to creating. One should learn and apply as many as possible to get a well-rounded skillset. Above all, creativity should be guided by the stories that you want to tell. Maybe there's a certain phrase or idea you want to expand upon. You can express this in a sequence of variations, one leading to the next, that reveals the story as the performance unfolds. The more tools you have to create, and the more proficient you are at using those tools, the more freedom you will have to do this :)


Hi Liquid.
I didn't look at the video, but the gist of what you're saying makes sense to me.
You bring up a relevant point which is the link between designing paltas and playing them.
Thinking about 5s and 7s in an 8, 12 or 16 framework
does force you to explore the innards of the rhythm
and not just conceptually, but in terms of timing it to play
so I guess I would start with nX speed variation, inserting silence, phase variation and cycle-partitioning
I would probably pick cycle paritioning as the first aspect to address
since it would bring the most drastic changes to the base kaida

Also, your point about sequencing is well taken
There is a certain amount of short term memory in the listener's mind.
Planning out how you sequence your patterns
draws on this memory and helps keep the listener better engaged.


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