Tabla Tarang: Melody on Drums

Tabla Tarang: Melody on Drums

by Kamalesh MaitraKamalesh Maitra


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As volume ten of their World's Musical Traditions set, Smithsonian Folkways released an album featuring Kamalesh Maitra, the last pandit (master) of the tabla tarang, a set of ten to 16 tabla drums (Maitra uses around 11 on this recording), each tuned to a different note, and without the bayan bass drum. The word tarang translates to "waves," which is meant to describe the sound of the drums as they are played. The player uses his palms to strike the drums in quick succession, hopefully to come as close to the human voice as possible in its shifts. On the recording, it becomes obvious how Maitra received his title of Pandit, as his virtuosity is stunning, especially when considering the size of the setup of the drums (a full half-circle around the performer) and the speed with which he is able to play them. The ragas played on this album are all morning ragas, or more specifically late-morning ragas, as all of them are forms of the Todi ragas (making use of the minor second, minor third, and sixth). While the music is wonderfully performed, giving an almost ethereal sound to the album, even true aficionados of North Indian classical music, used to half-hour ragas, can become bored partway through the 45-minute "Raag Mia Ki Todi," despite Maitra's virtuosity. Throughout, the album is perfectly executed and, despite the length of the last raga, is an exceptional find for any fan of Indian Classical music.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/23/1996
Label: Smithsonian Folkways
UPC: 0093074043622
catalogNumber: 40436
Rank: 86425

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