Taals In The Sri Guru Granth Sahib

Rhythm in Indian music performs the function of a time counter. A taal is a rhythmic cycle of beats with an ebb and flow of various types of intonations resounded on a percussive instrument. Each such pattern has its own name. Indian classical music has complex, all-embracing rules for the elaboration of possible patterns, though in practice a few taals are very common while others are rare. The most common taal in Hindustani classical music is Teental, a cycle of four measures of four beats each.
A taal does not have a fixed tempo and can be played at different speeds. In Hindustani classical music a typical recital of a raga falls into two or three parts categorized by the tempo of the music - Vilambit laya (Slow tempo), Madhya laya (Medium tempo) and Drut laya (Fast tempo).

 

In Guru Granth Sahib seventeen ghars  are mentioned. These seventeen ghars denote the following beats:


Ghar 1 DADRA TAAL (There are 1 Taalis and the Beat has 6 Maatraas)

Ghar 2 RUPAK TAAL There are 2 Taalis and the Beat has 7 Maatraas

Ghar 3 TEEN TAAL There 3 Taalis and the Beat has 16 Maatraas

Ghar 4 CHAAR TAAL There are 4 Taalis and the Beat has 12 Maatraas

Ghar 5 PUNJ TAAL There are 5 Taalis and the Beat has 15 Maatraas

Ghar 6 KHUT TAAL There are 6 Taalis and the Beat has 18 Maatraas

Ghar 7 MUT TAAL There are 7 Taalis and the Beat has 21 Maatraas

Ghar 8 ASHT MANGAL TAAL There are 8 Taalis and the Beat has 22 Maatraas

Ghar 9 MOHINI TAAL There are 9 Taalis and the Beat has 23 Maatraas

Ghar 10 BRAHAM TAAL There are 10 Taalis and the Beat has 28 Maatraas

Ghar 11 RUDRA TAAL There are 11 Taalis and the Beat has 32 Maatraas

Ghar 12 VISHNU TAAL There are 12 Taalis and the Beat has 36 Maatraas

 Ghar 13 MUCHKUND TAAL There are 13 Taalis and the Beat has 34 Maatraas

 Ghar 14 MAHASHANI TAAL There are 14 Taalis and the Beat has 42 Maatraas

 Ghar 15 MISHR BARAN TAAL There are 15 Taalis and the Beat has 47 Maatraas

Ghar 16 KUL TAAL There are 16 Taalis and the Beat has 42 Maatraas

 Ghar 17 CHRCHARI TAAL There are 17 Taalis and the Beat has 40 Maatraas


The common taals in Hindustani classical music Are:

 

Dadra - 6 matras

X                    0
dhin dhin na | dha thun na
Many variations of this theka exist, some going by the name khemta.

Rupak (7 matras)


0             1             2
tin tin na | dhin na | dhin na


Tivraa - 7 matras
(khula bols)

X               2             3
Dha din ta | tite kata | gadi ghene

OR

X                        2         3
Dha dhere naga | kat ta | dhere naga

 

Kaharvaa - 8 matras

X                    0
Dha ge na tin | na ka dhi na

Kaharvaa has countless variations, including dhumaali, "bhajani", and qawwali
etc. It is often counted as 4
matras.


Jhaptaal - 10 matras

X            2                  0         3
Dhin na | dhin dhin na | tin na | dhin dhin na


Ektaal 12 Matras

X              0             2        0          3                      4
Dhin dhin | dha dha | tu na | kat ta | dhage terekite | dhin dhage

 

 


Chautaal - 12 matras
(khula bols)

X etc. like Ektaal
Dha dha | din ta | kat tage | din ta | tete kata | gadi gene

Ara Chautaal - 14 matras
X 0 2 0 3 4 5
Dhin terekite | dhin na | tu na | kat ta | terekite dhin | na dhin |dhin na


Dhamaar - 14 matras
(khula bols)

X 2 0 3
Ka dhe te dhe te | dha - | ga te te | te te ta -

OR

Ka dhe te dhe te | dha - | ga di na | di na ta -


Tintal - 16 matras


X 2 0 3
Dha dhin dhin dha | dha dhin dhin dha | dha tin tin ta | tete dhin dhin dha

The theka becomes very ornamented in slow speeds. The "tete" of 13th matra can
also be played "ta" or "tre
kre". "ta" is often pronounced "na" for euphony. Strictly speaking, "terekite"
should never be substituted for
"dhin" of 2nd matra as this brings in the unwanted shadow of tilwara tal.


Sitaarkhaani - 16 matras

Vibhags as for tintal
Dha gedhin -ge dha | dha gedhin -ge dha | dha getin -ke ta | ta kedhin-ge dha


Matta taal - 18 matras

X 0 2 0
Dhin terekite | dhin na | ti--kre tina | terekite tina | kena dhidhi|
4 5 6 0
nadhi dhina | dhina gadha | terekite dhina | gadha terekite

 


Tivra - 7 beats
(khula bols)

X 2 3
Dha din ta | tete kata | gadi ghene

OR

Dha gere naga | ga di | gere naga
X            2                          0                  3
Dhin na | dhi--kre dhidhi na | ti--kre titi na | dhina gadha terekite


Dipchandi - 14 matras

X                2                   0          3
Dha dhin - | dha dha tin - | ta tin - | dha dha dhin -

The last four matras can be played "dha dha dhin dhin". Some tabla players put
"na" in the gaps.


Sultaal - 10 beats
(khula bols)

X             0         2             3              0
Dha dha | din ta | tete dha | tete kata | gadi gene


Jhumra tal - 14 beats

X                           2                                   0              
       3

Dhin -dha terekite | dhin dhin dhage terekite | tin -ta terekite | dhin dhin
dhage terekite


Tilwara - 16 matras

X                                 2                        0
Dha terekite dhin dhin | dha dhage tin tin | ta terekite dhin dhin | dha dhage
dhin dhin
Used for vilambit vocal, a variant of tintal.


Upatal Jhampak (also known as Roopam) - 8 1/2 matras

X            2                  0         3
Dhin na | dhin dhin na | tin na | dhidhi na/2 |

 

Division Of Beats:
 
Tintal 16 beats divided 4-4-4-4   
Dhamar tal 14 beats divided 5-2-3-4   
Ektal and Chautal 12 beats divided 2-2-2-2-2-2   
Jhaptal 10 beats divided 2-3-2-3   
Kaharva tal 8 beats divided 4-4   
Rupak tal 7 beats divided 3-2-2   
Dadra tal 6 beats divided 3-3   
Adha-Chautal  14 beats divided 2-4-4-4.