Tāl theory as a model of rhythmic organization
This chapter introduces the basic theory of the North Indian tāl system, outlining the model of rhythmic organization implicit in it, as well as the limitations. Building on this work, it also proposes an outline of a theoretical model of North Indian rhythmic organization. Tāl is a system for organizing musical time, and this organization involves two major aspects: a succession of time-spans is measured out, and these time-spans are ordered in a hierarchical relationship. There are conceptually distinct models of rhythmic organization outlined in the discussion: syllabic, which is associated with a syllabic rhythmic style; melismatic, with a melismatic rhythmic style; and the ‘hybrid’ model, formed by the superimposition of the tablā's thekā on the syllabic paradigm.
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