The Tala system, percussion instruments and an interview with a mrdangam vidwan of South India
Lurie, Stephen M.
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This paper consists of three parts discussing different aspects of rhythm and percussion from South India. South Indian rhythm is perhaps the most highly developed in the world. Chapter 1 contains the reasons why this topic was chosen for this thesis. Information attained through study with a South Indian percussionist and much private research will illustrate the complexity of this rhythmic system in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 discusses the percussion instruments used in the classical repertoire in South India. A detailed description of the history, composition, construction, playing techniques and role of the instrument is given for the mrdangam, kanjira, ghatam, tavil and morsing. An interview with a South Indian percussionist and scholar with whom this author has studied is presented in Chapter 4. This interview explores the life and teachings of one of the world’s great percussionists.