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Loading and Playing a Taal

It's very easy to use TaalMala on your Android tablet or phone. On a small screen (e.g. a phone) and in portrait mode, touch "Open" button and select the Taal you want to play. On a larger tablet screen and in landscape (horizontal) mode, the list of pre-composed Taals will display on the left side of the screen, along with each Taal's key attributes. Simply touch the desired Taal to load it. A matching Manjeera pattern is automatically loaded. You can turn Manjeera ON/OFF by touching the Manjeera picture on the top right hand side of the screen.

If "Autoload Lehra" option is selected in Settings, TaalMala also loads a matching Lehra/Nagma automatically. Or alternatively, you can load another Lehra by using "Open" button for the Lehra channel.

Select the desired Tanpura pattern in the Tanpura channel drop-down menu.

Select the desired tempo and pitch.

Click Play (big grey button with triangle/Play symbol) to start playing. You can also adjust the tempo or the pitch after the Taal or Lehra start playing.

You can enable/disable the Taal, Lehra, Manjeera or Tanpura channels during playback or adjust their volumes.

Explore various other settings and options available for controlling the playback under "Settings".

Importing Taals Composed on Your Windows PC

This functionality is available only in the Full Edition of TaalMala Android (not available in Trial and Basic Editions).

TaalMala Full Edition contains a built-in library of 341+ pre-composed Taals. In addition, if you have other Taal files (composed using the Windows Edition of TaalMala), you can export them to your Android device and play them on your Android device. To do so, connect your Android device to the PC using a USB cable, such that it appears as a drive on your Windows PC. On the internal storage of your Android device, find a folder named "TaalMala" and simply copy your custom compositions (.tal files) to the this folder. When you launch TaalMala on Android, the application automatically scans this folder and shows the valid .tal files from this folder in the list of your pre-composed Taals. These Taals from the external directory are distinguished from the internal Taals because they are shown in a different color at the end of the list.

Please note that only the .tal files composed using TaalMala (Windows) version 4.50 or above are recognized by the Android application.

How to compose a Taal using notation

Taal Composer gives you ability to compose any Taal, precisely the way you want! Starting version 4.0, you can purchase the Taal Composer as a separate upgrade for your TaalMala software on Android and iOS devices. You can compose your own Taal or even complex compositions by simply entering the notation for the Taal, as per the syntax rules below (illustrated with examples and a video below).

The general syntax for each bol is as follows:

BolName++++[duration]

  • BolName: Name of the bol entered from the Taal composer keyboard
  • ++++ OR ----: Volume of the bol. The number of '+' or '-' signs determine how loudly or softly the bol plays.
  • [duration]: Specifies the duration of the bol in terms of number of beats (matras). duration is a number in [...] brackets and must be between 0.01 and 10. If the duration is not specified, the duration is implied from the previous bol. If the duration of the very first bol is unspecified, it is automatically taken as 1 beat. See examples below.

Any words separated by white space (tab or space) are considered separate bols or beats (see examples below).

Examples

  1. The following line plays each bol for exactly one beat (matra):
    Dha Dhin Dhin Dha Dha Dhin Dhin Dha Dha Tin Tin Na Na Dhin Dhin Dha
    For the first bol, since the duration is not specified, it is automatically taken as 1 beat. Then onwards, for each beat, since the duration is not specified, the duration is implicitly taken as 1 beat (that of the previous bol).
  2. The following line plays each bol for exactly one beat (matra), with loudness increased by 2 dB for beats 1, 5, 9 and 13:
    Dha++ Dhin Dhin Dha Dha++ Dhin Dhin Dha Dha++ Tin Tin Na Na++ Dhin Dhin Dha
  3. The following line plays each bol for exactly one beat (matra), with loudness decreased by 2 dB for all beats except beats 1, 5, 9 and 13:
    Dha Dhin-- Dhin-- Dha-- Dha Dhin-- Dhin-- Dha-- Dha Tin-- Tin-- Na-- Na Dhin-- Dhin-- Dha--
  4. If two bols are specified without white space between them (e.g. TraKa in the example below), they are interpreted as belonging to the same beat (matra). This means that each bol in such a group will play for equal duration such that the total group of bols constitutes 1 beat (matra).
    Dha Dhin-- Dhin-- Dha-- Dha Dhin-- Dhin-- Dha-- Dha Tin-- Tin-- Na-- TraKa Dhin-- Dhin-- Dha--
    In the example above, the bol group TraKa contains two bols, Tra and Ka, each of which is played for 0.5 beats. By same logic, the bol group TiReKiTe in the example below will be played such that each of the constituent bols, Ti, Re, Ki and Te, will be played for 0.25 beats. Dhin Dhin DhaGe TiReKiTe Tu Na Kat Tin DhaGe TiReKiTe Dhin Na
  5. You can specify the duration of each of the bols explicitly as follows, illustrated with Ektal example: Dhin[1] Dhin[1] Dha[0.5] Ge[0.5] Ti[0.25] Re[0.25] Ki[0.25] Te[0.25] Tu[1] Na[1] Kat[1] Tin[1] Dha[0.5] Ge[0.5] Ti[0.25] Re[0.25] Ki[0.25] Te[0.25] Dhin[1] Na[1]
    Notice that we have explicitly specified duration of each note here. When this is done, each bol is separated from the others by white space, so that there are no bol groups.
  6. We can specify the emphasis for each of the bols, if required, as follows. Dhin++++[1] Dhin[1] Dha[0.5] Ge[0.5] Ti[0.25] Re[0.25] Ki[0.25] Te[0.25] Tu[1] Na---[1] Kat+++[1] Tin[1] Dha[0.5] Ge[0.5] Ti[0.25] Re[0.25] Ki[0.25] Te[0.25] Dhin[1] Na[1]
  7. If a bol group is specified with duration in the end, the duration is applied only to the last bol of the group. The remaining bols in the group are evenly split in the remaining duration of the group such that the total duration of the group is 1 beat. For example, consider
    Dha+++Tra[0.25] DhinNa
    In the above example, there are two bol groups. By definition, each group is 1 beat each. For the first group, duration for Tra in the end is specified as 0.25 beats. Therefore, the Dha+++ playes for (1 - 0.25) = 0.75 beats. In the second bol group, Dhin and Na each play for 0.5 beats. There are two groups in the above line. The first group, SRG[0.5] is interpreted to mean that G is to be played for 0.5 beats, with remaining notes of the group (S and R) split between 1 - 0.5 = 0.5 beats. Because of this, each S and R will be played for 0.25 beats. Similarly, for group DNS"[0.8], D and N will be played for 0.1 beats each, whereas S" will be played for 0.8 beats. This type of notation is useful for writing khatkas. Such group notation with duration is acceptable only if the duration is explicitly specified for the last note of the group.
  8. You can append any bol in any of the above notation with a number of + or - signs, to increase or decrease the volume of the note. For example, following are all valid notations:
    • Tin---[0.5] Na----[0.25] Tra------[0.125] Ka--------
    • Na---[0.25] Na----[0.25] Ti------[0.125] Re------ Ki------ Te-------
    • Dha++[0.25] Ge---- Ti------[0.125] Re------ Ki------ Te-------
    Each + or - increases or decreases the volume of the note by 1 dB.
  9. To play Manjeera along with any bol simply add either * (open Manjeera sound) or # (closed Manjeera sound) to the bol, as follows:
    Tin++* Tin Na Dhin# Na-- Dhin# Na--
    This is the Rupak Taal composition, with open Manjeera sound at first beat and closed Manjeera sounds on beats 4 and 6.

Following is a list of bols which can be included in the Taal notation:

List of Bols

Dha = Na + Pressed Ge
Dha2 = Na + First Closed then Open Ge
Dha3 = Na + Closed Ge
Dha4 = Na + Open Ge
Dha5 = Na + Fast Sliding Ge
Dha6 = Na + Delayed Sliding Ge
Dhin = Sur + First Closed then Open Ge
Dhin2 = Sur + Pressed Ge
Dhin3 = Sur + Closed Ge
Dhin4 = Sur + Open Ge
Dhin5 = Sur + Fast Sliding Ge
Dhin6 = Sur + Delayed Sliding Ge
Tin = Sur + Thap1
Tin2 = Sur + Thap2
Tin3 = Tin + Silence
Tin4 = Sur + Ki
Na = Na + Silence
Sur = Sur + Silence
Ti = Ti + Silence
Re = Re + Silence
Rra = Rra + Silence
Ki = Silence + Ki
Ki2 = Silence + Ki
Ki3 = Silence + Ki
Ki4 = Ki + Silence
Te = Te + Silence
Tta = Tta + Silence
Tun = Tun + Silence
Tu = Tun + Silence
Tra = Tra + Silence
Ka = Ka + Silence
Dhum = Tun + First Closed then Open Ge
Dhet = Te + Pressed Ge
Dhet2 = Te + Pressed Ge
Ge = Silence + Closed Ge
Ge2 = Silence + Pressed Ge
Ge3 = Silence + Open Ge
Ne = Ne + Silence
Dhi = Dhi + Silence
Dhi2 = Soft Dhi + Silence
Ra = Ra + Silence
Kat = Silence + Tichki
Kat2 = Tichki + Silence
Di = Soft Din + Silence
Din = Din + Silence
Gin = Silence + Gin

Happy composing!

How to compose Lehra using notation

From version 3.0, Premium Edition of TaalMala supports Lehra composer. You can compose your own Lehras or even complex compositions by simply entering the notation for the composition, as per the syntax rules below (illustrated with examples and a video below).

The general syntax for each note is as follows:

NoteName++++[duration]

  • NoteName: Name of the note entered from the Lehra composer keyboard. A character from one of the following set: SrRgGMmPdDnN'". ''' specifies lower octave, '"' specifies upper octave. If there is no octave specifier, default is middle octave.
  • ++++ OR ----: Volume of the note. The number of '+' or '-' signs determine how loudly or softly the bol plays.
  • [duration]: Specifies the duration of the note in terms of number of beats (matras). duration is a number in [...] brackets and must be between 0.01 and 10. If the duration is not specified, the duration is implied from the previous note. If the duration of the very first note is unspecified, it is automatically taken as 1 beat. See examples below.

Any words separated by white space (tab or space) are considered separate notes or beats (see examples below).

Examples

  1. The following line plays all possible notes in two octaves in order (starting from lower octave, middle octave and upper octave), with each note played for exactly one beat (matra):
    P' d' D' n' N' S r R g G M m P d D n N S" r" R" g" G" M" m" P"
  2. The following line plays all Shuddha (major) notes in middle octave, with each note played for half beat (matra):
    SR GM PD NS" S"N DP MG RS
  3. The following line plays all Shuddha (major) notes in middle octave, with each note played for half beat (matra):
    S[0.5] R G M P D N S" S" N D P M G R S
    Notice that we have explicitly mentioned the period for the first note (S) as 0.5 beats. The subsequent notes imply the duration from previous notes, unless explicitly changed again.
  4. Another way of playing all Shuddha (major) notes in middle octave for 0.5 beats each is as follows:
    S[0.5] R[0.5] G[0.5] M[0.5] P[0.5] D[0.5] N[0.5] S"[0.5] S"[0.5] N[0.5] D[0.5] P[0.5] M[0.5] G[0.5] R[0.5] S[0.5]
    Notice that we have explicitly specified duration of each note here.
  5. Consider the following:
    N' SR G M[0.5] P DNS"
    In the above example, N' (lower Ni) is played for 1 beat (automatically implied), S and R will be played for 0.5 beats each (any grouped notes are split evenly across 1 beat duration), G played for 1 beat (automatically implied), M played for 0.5 beats (explicitly specified), P played for 0.5 beats (implied from the previous note, since it's not a group), D, N and S" played for 0.33 beat each (since it's a group of 3 notes).
  6. If a group of notes is specified with duration in the end, the duration is applied only to the last note in the group. The remaining notes in the group are evenly split in the remaining duration of the group. For example, consider
    S SRG[0.5] M P DNS"[0.8]
    There are two groups in the above line. The first group, SRG[0.5] is interpreted to mean that G is to be played for 0.5 beats, with remaining notes of the group (S and R) split between 1 - 0.5 = 0.5 beats. Because of this, each S and R will be played for 0.25 beats. Similarly, for group DNS"[0.8], D and N will be played for 0.1 beats each, whereas S" will be played for 0.8 beats. This type of notation is useful for writing khatkas. Such group notation with duration is acceptable only if the duration is explicitly specified for the last note of the group.
  7. TaalMala also supports polyphonic notes, i.e. multiple notes played simultaneously. For example, consider:
    {SGP}[2] R M {MDS"M"}[1]
    In the above notation, the first note is a polyphonic note (enclosed in {...}), which causes S, G and P to play together. These notes are played for 2 beats. After this, R and M are played individually for 2 beats each. The last note is polyphonic note again, with M, D S" and M" played together for 1 beat. Polyphonic notations are very useful to play chords.
  8. You can append any note in any of the above notation with a number of + or - signs, to increase or decrease the volume of the note. For example, following are all valid notations:
    • P'+++ d'+ D' n'--- N'+ S r R g G M++++++++ m P d D- n N S"+++ r" R" g" G" M" m" P"
    • N' S---R+++ G M+[0.5] P DN--S"
    • {SGP++}[2] R M {MD+S"-M"+++}[1]
    Each + or - increases or decreases the volume of the note by 1 dB.

Happy composing!

Where are my sequences or Taal/Lehra/SwarMandal composition files?

If you have purchased TaalMala with Sequencer/Composer upgrade (included in Premium Edition or separate purchase), you can compose and save your own Taal/Lehra compositions and/or sequences. By default, these compositions and sequences are saved in the folder .../TaalMala/Taals/ on your device's SD card with the name CompositionName.talx, CompositionName.lehx, CompositionName.tal or CompositionName.leh. If you do not have a license for the sequencer/composer, you cannot permanently save the composition. TaalMala temporarily saves the new composition in internal memory.

Use Your Own Tanpura Sounds

Starting with version 2.0, TaalMala on Android includes many built-in Tanpura patterns with default Tanpura sound samples recorded from a real Tanpura. However, for any reason, you would like to use your own Tanpura sounds with TaalMala, you can do so by following the steps below.

  • Record your Tanpura sound. You can either record just plain Sa sound or record the entire Tanpura loop sound (all strings).
  • If you record only Sa, ensure that the file is named as "sa.wav" or "sa.mp3" (case-sensitive), depending upon the format. TaalMala can accept any mp3 or WAV files up to 44.1 kHz sampling rate.
  • If you record the entire Tanpura loop (all strings), you can name the recording anything.
  • Copy all these sound files to a folder .../TaalMala/Tanpura/ on your Android device. If the folder does not exist, create it.
  • If you copied file "sa.wav" or "sa.mp3" to this folder, then TaalMala will use the contents of this file as the base Sa for generating Tanpura patterns. If you want to revert to the built-in Tanpura sounds, simply rename or delete the file "sa.wav" or "sa.mp3" (as the case may be), and re-start TaalMala.
  • Any other WAV or MP3 files in this folder (.../TaalMala/Tanpura/) will show up in the Tanpura patterns list on the TaalMala main screen. Note, however, that for these custom sounds to play properly, they must be under size-limit of 1 MB when uncompressed (PCM).

Export Taals from PC Editions

If you have Classic/Professional PC Edition of TaalMala and also Android Full Edition, you can export the Taals composed on your PC to your Android device. To do so, simply copy the Taal file (*.tal) to your Android device's .../TaalMala/Taals folder on its SD card and restart TaalMala (If this folder does not exist, you can create it). The Taals read from the external SD card are shown in a different color code inside TaalMala Taals list.


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