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The time pattern in music is generally included in the word "rhythm". When a rhythmic experience is arranged so that there is a feeling of 'Coming Back' to the origin, the arrange becomes repetitive or cyclic. E.g. Week days have cyclic pattern. It is this concept of a total cycle which is at the basis of Indian rhythm in art music.

Indian time units called aksara in Karnatak and matra in Hindustani , are placed in certain defined sections. (khand, laghu and so on)

Tempo or speed is recognized by the word laya which can be generally of three degrees


The first is slow, the second medium and third fast. The various groups of aksara (matra) known as anga-s are added in various ways to produce various taal-s each of which has a name. The important idea is that taal so formed must have a cyclic construction.

Trital or Teental has 16 matras, 4 angas of 4 matras each

4+4+4+4=16 The notations are


Audio Recordings for Gaurang's book "Understanding Indian Classical Music" ©



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