Taal (tala) – Rhythm

In the Classical Music of India, both the Carnatic Music in the South and the Hindustani Music in the North, we have to know a bunch of fundamental rhythmic cycles.

We need to memorize and practice them, only then we get able to recognize them when being played in a Raag performance. Tintaal (Teen Tala), Ektaal, Rupaktaal (Rupak Tala), Jhaptaal and Mattataal (Matta Tala) are the most common rhythmic cycles in Hindustani Music. Here you can study them in their the most basic version:

9 beats tala Mattataal (Mattataal) 1
is a very interesting rythm build of 9 beats.  Subdivisions are 2+2+2+3, so this taal revolves around the 3 a lot. Here two basic versions:  

Mattataal (Matta Tala)

7 beats Rupaktaal (Rupak Tala)
is a little special: the sam and the kali are the same beat at one. Beside that, the 7beats are divided in 3+2+2:  

Rupaktaal (Rupak Tala)

10 beats tala Jhaptaal (Zaptaal)
is a 10beat cycle and build out of 2+3+2+3. There is clearly the middle at beat 6, and the two parts are almost the same. So we might start to feel it as 2×5. Western musicians might also regard it is switching between 2/4 and 3/4, but maybe it is […]

Jhaptaal (Zaptaal)

12 beats tala Ektaal
is a 12beat cycle, and for western musicians also quite natural to digest. This taal gives the opportunities to be felt in various subdivisions, so one can go for 3×4, but also 4×3, 6×2 or even 2×6. As the Ektaal has a lot to do with 3 and 4, so […]


16 beats tala Tintaal (Teentaal)
is the most common taal (rhythmic cylce) in Indian Classical Music, and this one usually is learned first. It has 16beats and kind of correlates to our western 4/4 meter. You can count it as 4 times 4/4, but be aware that the idea is a cylcle of 16 beats: […]

Tintaal (Teen Taal or Teen Tala)