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Adarsh Shenoy and Deepak play tala Virajaka








Feature

11 beats and a new tala

Rajgopal Kallurkar has composed an unusual 11-beat tala that can be played both solo and with khayal singing

"I had composed this tala in 1992, but hadn't presented it on stage," says Rajagopal Kallurkar.

Kallurkar: Trying out an odd beat His students Adarsh Shenoy and Deepak got a chance to present Virajaka, an unusual 11-beat tala, at the 15th anniversary of Kallur Mahalakshmi Tabla Vidyalaya. They played it for 20 minutes to the appreciation of senior musicians. "It can be used both for accompaniment and solo elaboration," Rajgopal explains. His vocalist friends have promised to compose khayals to match the tala.

Rajgopal's tabla school, established in Dharwad, moved to Bangalore five years ago. It now functions from his house in Kathriguppe (phone: 669 3613). At its recent anniversary, he got music composer and singer C Ashwath to honour Dr Rachaiah Hiremath, senior tabla player from Dharwad. Rajgopal learnt the tabla from Ustad Sheikh Dawood Khan of Hyderabad, and his disciple Pandit Girish Avate. He now teaches, records and performs regularly in Bangalore.

For the aficionado: Tala Virajaka is split into four units of 2, 3, 3 and 3. This is how it goes: dhin na | dhin dhin na | theekda thinna thirakita | dhage nadha thirakita || The first movement resembles jhap tala. The khali is on the sixth beat, after which it shows shades of rupak and dadra.

Vasantha Iyer



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