Taal (Rhythm)

Taal is the term used in Indian classical music for the rhythmic pattern of any composition in the theory of music.

Rhythm in Indian music performs the function of a time counter. A taal is a rhythmic cycle of beats. 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 Teentaal, a cycle of four measures of four beats each becomes 16 bits rhythm. It can be played in any tempo (speed). In Hindustani classical music a typical recital of a raga falls into two or three tempo of the music. Although the tempo changes, the fundamental rhythm does not.

- Vilambit laya (Slow tempo),
- Madhya laya (Medium tempo) and
- Drut laya (Fast tempo).

Each repeated cycle of a taal is called an avartan. The most common instrument for keeping rhythm in
Hindustani music is the Tabla.


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