short analysis of Tabla Player's styles

Ustad Amir Hussain Khan

His playing seems more inclined towards playing Relas (tukdas, gats, chakradars - referred to as Kavitas or poetry based compositions in Drut laya/fast tempo) in a tabla solo. This gave the listener a feeling of continuous 'Goonj' or 'Aas' or 'Resonance'.

Experience this in the following Tishra Jaati Rela

Ustad Habibuddin Khan

Though he belonged to Ajrada Gharana, having learnt from his father Ustad.Shammu Khan, he had also learnt from Ustad. Munir Khan of (1)Mumbai Gharana / Laliyana (which comprises of an amalgamation of Delhi, Ajrada, Farukhabad and Lucknow - the early schools of Tabla)

His playing had the touch of sweetness in it. You can experience it in the following Youtube video:
Teental Kaida

(1)Reference: Theory And Practice Of Tabla - Sadanand Naimpalli
Read on Google
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Ustad Ahmedjan Thirakwa

Ustad Ahmedjan Thirakwa popularised the composition called Peshkar in Tabla. While playing Peshkar the stress he used to give on certain letters or syllables (for instance - Ghe in GheNa) shows how much importance he gave to specific forms in the composition.
Due to his command on laya (rhythm) and creative imagination during the elaboration of Peshkar, it sounded different from other player’s rendition of the same.

Enjoy this Peshkar and Kaida by Ustad Ahmedjaan Thirakwa

Pt. Shashikant (Nana) Muley

Nana Muley’s accompaniment not only gives the expected rhythm but also adds a peculiar gait. His accompaniment varied according to the artist and the nature of performance.

Enjoy this Documentory of Pt. Shashikant (Nana) Muley

Pt.Kishan Maharaj

His solo playing represents the proper Benares(/Banaras) style of tabla and its elaboration in proper order.
His accompaniment to instrumental music is excellent and so is to dance which is a child's play for him.

Enjoy this Documentary episode made on Tabla Samrat Pandit Kishan Maharaj from Benaras in 1989 by Doordarshan.

Ustad Alla Rakha
Though he didn't receive proper training of tabla of the Punjab Gharana, using his own imagination and creativity he made innumerable compositions.
In his tabla solo recitals the Relas played by him were his forte.His accompaniment to instrumental performances as well as dance is outstanding.
As a vocalist he was no less than a professional vocalist.Pandit Kumar Gandharva also learnt a few bandishes from him when he came to Deodhar School of Indian Music,Mumbai in 1946.

Also watch:
1) Ustad Alla Rakha as a Vocalist - Raag Madhuvanti
Alla Rakha, on his eighty year anniversary talks about his early career as a Music Director then sings a nice piece in Raag Madhuvanti in Japtaal of 10 beats

2) Ustad Alla Rakha - His last Interview and Recording

3) Ustad Alla Rakha - All India Radio Films Division Documentary

4) Indian Classical Music : Ravi Shankar, Alla Rakha and Yehudi Menuhin

Yogesh Samsi

Having played various compositions of Punjab Gharana, he has also displayed his mastery over Delhi and Ajradastyle of playing Kaydas and Relas.

Pt. Yogesh Samsi : Best of Punjab Gharana

Glimpses of Pt Yogesh Samsi's solo on Pt Kishan Maharaj's Barsi

Arvind Academy of Tabla wishes you a Happy Diwali!

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