The pulse of Indian music, Taal is a rhythmic cycle with a fixed number of beats. In Sanskrit, the word 'taal' means 'to strike with palms'. In Tamil, 'taalam' means 'to clap'. In Hindi the word means 'beats' and in Bengali, besides 'rhythm' the word 'taal' also means 'sanity'. In its original form, Indian classical music was accompanied by either claps or palm strokes. Later 108 taals were developed. With time, the number of taals went up and both Hindustani Classical Music and Carnatic Classical Music developed their own individual taals. Taal holds music together. Taals are played repeatedly on time basis. Teentaal is a common Hindustani Taal and Aditaalam is a common Carnatic Taal. Taals are played on percussion instruments such as Tabla and Mridangam.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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