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What are Tabla Loops

Need for Tabla Loops

Song and Timelines

How Mind Recognizes Music

Other Percussion Instrument using Loops

What is so Special about Tabla Sound

How Tabla Creates Emotions

How to Make Your Own Tabla Loops

How to Record Tabla Loops

Tabla Loop Samples


" The most remarkable feature of Tabla rhythms is its ability to fill those points of composition which are not touched by the rhythms of other percussion instruments. Due to this very unique sound producing ability it has made a very very distinct place among percussion instruments of all over the world. "

" Human mind most of the time produces some kind of 'feelings' or 'thoughts'. The expressed part of this is thoughts and the unexpressed is feelings. Good music is that which creates the ‘feelings’ of higher qualitative value. "


What are Tabla Loops


Tabla is one of the ancient drum instrument from India known for its very rich voice and tonal quality. When recorded with other instruments it gives profound expression ability. Tabla was invented and modified around 1200 AD, patronized by the Mughal emperors it was initially used as an accompaniment instrument to ‘khyaal’ kind of classical singing. The Arabic word ‘khyaal’ literally means imagination, a slow paced articulation by vocalist of classical Indian tradition. Gradually Tabla freed itself from accompaniment to solo kind of performance accompanying light music which included songs representing regional cultures. This gave Tabla artists more choices to experiment with and expanded their artistic imagination. Today Tabla is fully developed with huge repertoire of database of ‘bols’ and rhythms to accompany any kind of musical style. Presently Tabla Rhythms are being used with almost every kind of music style from rock to pop to new age music.


Need for Tabla Loops


Rhythm part of song or music functions like a backbone or frame of music, on which a music rests upon. This gives a listener a framed view through which one gets the ability to view the music. Tabla Loops are these frames, grown traditionally and later artists added their personal experiences with experiments. There is always one perfect accompaniment style (loop) which decorates the song or music.

Tabla Loops can be classified as traditional and innovative. Traditional loops are simple, using principal ‘bols’ (syllables) with clarity. They are more straight and facilitates other musicians to express. These traditional loops are played almost in a similar way with little emotional variations. Artists use different ‘bols’ (syllables) and fillers (transitions) to relate it with different parts of music. This is how loops appear differently when played by different artists from different locations. There is always some similarity between the two Tabla artists when they accompany a same piece of song or music. This conveys the original and root level connection between the two artists having similar mind sets or probably having similar classical and learning tradition.

With the professionalism and sophistication in every field, Tabla accompaniment also needs its own library of rhythms. Like components of software which are growing each day enriching the capabilities of computer-programmer, musicians do also need more Tabla rhythms for rhythmic expressions.

Due to its rich voice and wide spread accompnibility with other styles and instruments it has become principal accompanying instrument in different part of the world. Artists from different traditions and backgrounds enriched it. Different geographic regions stress at different ‘bols’. Thus they facilitate the extension of principal rhythm. Sometimes they produce the ‘bols’ in entirely different way, though the principal structure of the beat or rhythm remains the same.

Creation of Tabla Loops help to store the rhythm electronically. It makes it a ready to use programmable component to experiment with. This way it enlarges the artist’s ability to view his work. Specially when much of the musical work is being done on computers, Tabla Loops equip the music arranger or musician to experiment with his own compositions. It helps him to see how his music looks with different frames of rhythms.


Song and Timelines


A piece of music is an artwork created on the canvas of time. Rhythm creates that virtual canvas where variations of expressions creates an artistic image in listener’s mind.

Timeline of a song or music is a virtual scale on which different movement of sounds are arranged. A particular sound at a particular time creates a particular image which relates to what has been played earlier. A image is stored in mind of previously played part, it is matched with what is being played. This interrelation build an image of song. This creates emotions in mind. The repetitive nature of virtual timeline is built by rhythm-loop. Drum instruments are better and traditionally more experimented with, to do this. Though all instruments are in more or less way expressive in a rhythmic way and sometimes behave exactly the same way as a drum instrument does.

A good song or piece of music is a good arrangement of components of music on time line. How different components create an appeal in listener’s mind makes a music successful or unsuccessful. Role of Tabla is to give them a structure.

A successful music is always simple in its rhythmic structure. Simply structured rhyhms are what mind is naturally programmed for. Complex rhythmic patterns may succeed due to appearing "unusual" but they wont be called good music having lasting appeal. This is similar to geometric shapes, mind recognises simple structures with ease. Even the most complex structures are recognised as good with their 'simple final shapes' in mind. The complexity of music must be translated into a simple image in mind.

There are different variations within the song or music. They are filled by transitions (fillers). Like transitons in visual arts, they facilitate the listener to adjust their vision.


How mind recognizes the music


The human mind has some ability to feel and analyze. Certain things are felt and certain things are analyzed to create an experience. The quality of this experience also depends on listener’s past stored experiences.

Listening music leaves an imprint on listener’s mind. Quality of this impression depends on quality of image. The prime element of which is how easily one could ‘grasp’ it.

Like a visual image is created on a portrait of space, a ‘listening image’ is created on ‘portrait of time’. Variations in Intensities of audible sound draws lines in some ‘audible buffer’. Coherence and Harmony between these images is a very important part of quality of listening experience.

Listener’s past experience gives him ability to feel or ‘evaluate’ his listening object. This listening gives him a kind of ‘absorption’. The more the listener is absorbed into music, the more successful the music is. Music creates a certain ‘bhav-equivalent' (feeling) in mind. This can be compared to a color value. How colorful a music is and how different colors are correlated makes a music good or bad (in relation to an individual.)

Human mind most of the time produces some kind of ‘feeling’ or ‘thoughts’. The expressed part of this is thoughts and the unexpressed is feelings. Good music is that which creates the feeling of higher qualitative value.


Other Percussion Instruments using loops


Drum is popular music instrument for which loops are widely being used. Different artists have classified the loop types for musicians and music arrangers. Drum has been being used with western music for quite a long time. With loops, it is easier to make a music or song faster than arranging with a drum player. There are wide varities of loops of different lengths and moods available for recording purposes. Song writers and other musicians do also use drum loops for recording and rehearsing purposes.


Recording of Tabla Loops


There comes the role of recording machine and Tabla Player to record the Tabla Loops. Recording loops also give the artist to see his skills in a presentable and measured way. Listening to recorded loops gives artist more insights into creating new and other variations of loops.

To record the loops one needs a personal computer with a recording software installed on it, for example Audacity. It requires only a basic skill of recording. For Tabla, a microphone is placed near the Tabla set. A favorite composition is played and loop part of it is extracted and saved as a separate file. Normally WAV file is preferred with 16 bit PCM setting as a preferred sampling rate. The environment should be recording friendly with no audible disturbances. Files thus created can be shared across internet to have feedback and suggestions and may even be distributed to create a good musical composition.


How to make your own Tabla Loops


You can make your own Tabla Loops with your personal computer. You can record the sound with the help of sound recording software. To record from your Tabla set to your computer you need to place a microphone close to Tabla and play a piece of rhythm for a few seconds to few minutes. Then you have to extract the loops of your choice and to copy it to a new file by copy and paste method. Each loop should be on a separate file.

While recording take special care of acoustics of your room that it should not be too ‘live’ or too ‘dumb’. Placement of microphone should be a few inches away gives good results. Placing it nearer to the right Tabla gives better sound creating more balanced sound. You can select 16 bit 44100 Hz PCM Microsoft WAV file format to save the sound file. This way you can get near CD quality of sound for your Tabla Loop.


How Tabla Loops can be used


Rhythm is the backbone of any music. Songs are the most common ways to create music. Tabla Loops are of great help when you are composing music for song. They give good insights and inspiration for how more music should be added. Fillers by Tabla Loops make the sound more grasping and audible. It also helps to break the monotony of the rhythm.

To create a good piece of music, Tabla Loop is of good help. First you select the base rhythm and break your ‘would be’ music into different parts characterized by different loops. Then connect these pieces with matching fillers. Then you play it back repeatedly and sing along. You will naturally find where to add your creativity.

It is very encouraging practice to record the loops for sharing purposes. Recorded loops help other musicians to add their own music over it. And sometimes there may come out a very good music out of it.


What is so special about Tabla Loops


The most special thing about the Tabla Loops is that they make anybody a musician. One can create his own music in a go. As soon as you get your matching loop, you simply add on your imagination over it. It becomes very easy to give direction to your imagination. You can use your imagination to make it more creative. Sometimes it only takes a few minutes to prepare your dummy.

A loop is a few seconds rhythm part. Spread it across your track. Add some fillers of your choice and sing or play along.


What is so special about Tabla Sound


The most remarkable feature of Tabla sound is its clarity of bols. They sound so good in recording. Echo produced is so natural. A rare combination of high and low frequencies that is so enthralling that heart dances.

Even in India, Dholak and other horizontal drums were more common. But the way Tabla sound decorated the songs the artists shifted to Tabla. These days Tabla is the most essential instrument for any music assembly or recording, no matter to which culture of music they are working for.


How Tabla Creates Emotions


Other remarkable thing about Tabla is its ability to create emotions. The finer the emotions the distinct is the music. How Tabla creates emotions. Tabla creates emotions by its range and variations of sound producing ability. Harmonics are too varied and the togetherness of very high and low (very very low), that too from the same surface, is almost negligible in other percussions. Tabla satisfies almost the all audible musical range of frequencies. Rare combination of highest and lowest without intermingling of tones ("The distinction'). Other percussion have 'natures', a characteristic tones (or range of frequencies). Tabla satisfies the basic human need of musical sensitivity of hearing as well as of harmonics, and this makes the music. Music is filling heart with artful varieties acoustically and artistically, chained together. Tabla contributes here. And somewhere human being is musical himself. And Tabla fills that gap.

Secondly, Tabla gives its player to express his heart with more possibilities. Grammatically configured finer hand settings makes him more able to produce finer words. There are so many controls that a percussionist may put in comparison to other instruments. And somewhere soul of Tabla is more musical than other instruments. Though all instruments are expression with some nature, but rhythm being the soul of music and Tabla being the soul of percussion.


Tabla due to its rich voice and tonal quality gives a new life to any music- composition. Second most important thing about Tabla is its clarity of bols. Its pronunciation is so clear that it seems it is singing the song itself. Actually no other Indian instrument have such a deep bass sound than Tabla, that it complements to both serious as well as non serious moods of music.

Due to fineness of producing bols, Tabla gives its player the ability to express musical tones more precisely. With Dholak and other percussion instruments this is not possible.


There have been much work done with Tabla. The grammar of Tabla is richer than any other percussion instruments. Other instruments have been much confined to their cultural and geographical boundaries and had local effect. Tabla, due to its flexibility and variety of sound producing ability with different styles of music became more popular and acceptable.

The most remarkable feature of Tabla rhythms is its ability to fill those points of composition which are not touched by rhythms of other cultural percussion instruments. Due to this very unique sound producing ability it has made a very very distinct place among percussion instruments of all over the world.

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