About | News | Releases | Projects | Studio | Educator | Lessons | Shop | Video | Press | Contact

SOUTH INDIAN RHYTHMIC TRADITION An Introduction Part I
For the last ten years I’ve had the good fortune of working with the South Indian master Karaikudi R Mani as he has joined the Australian Art Orchestra — a large ensemble I am a founding member of, directed by pianist, composer Paul Grabowsky — on many projects around Australia as well as in India and Europe. Guru Karaikudi R Mani resides in Madras, is a master of the mridangam, a double headed drum from the Carnatic South Indian tradition, is an innovator in the field of rhythm in South Indian Classical music and is also an accomplished composer. He has been a wonderful mentor for the orchestra and has enriched our lives by exposing us to his rhythmic tradition.

This rhythmic tradition employs a system of spoken drum syllables known as solkatu. Here are the ten basic groups:

1= TA                    
2= TA KA                  
3= TA KI TA                
4= TA KA DI NA              
5= TA DI KI NA DOM            
6= TA KA DI NA TA KA          
7= TA KA DI NA TA KI TA        
8= TA KA DI NA TA KA DI NA      
9= TA KA DI NA TA DI KI NA DOM    
10= TA KI TA TAM , TA DI KI NA DOM  


The following are couple of ways you should employ to develop the material presented:

1. Practice each group by clapping the down beat and reciting the chosen group syllables aloud.
2. Practice the patterns 'pyramid' style, that is four times each from 1->10 then back 10->1



For further research visit Karaikudi R Mani, the Australian Art Orchestra and/or listen to Into The Fire  Australian Art Orchestra & Sruthi Laya Ensemble [ ABC Classics 465 705-2]


© Alex Pertout. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission from the author. This article was first published in Drumscene magazine.

© 1996-Present. Alex Pertout. All Rights Reserved.