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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 from notation (Android/iOS)

Taal Composer gives you ability to compose any Taal, or edit an existing Taal! You can compose your own Taal or complex compositions by simply entering the notation for the Taal, as per the syntax rules explained below.

A Taal consists of multiple bols or bol groups. Each bol or bol group is separated from others by space (space, tab or a newline).

Bol Syntax:

The general syntax for each bol is as follows:

BolName++++[duration]

where,

  • BolName: Name of the bol entered from the Taal composer keyboard
  • ++++ OR ----: Volume of the bol. The number of '+' or '-' signs determine how loud or soft 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 for a bolis not explicitly specified, it is assumed to be same as that of the previous bol. If the duration of the very first bol is not specified, it is assumed to be 1 beat.

Bol Group Syntax:

A bol group is a series of bols played either successively (one after another) or simultaneously (all together).

If multiple bols are to be played one after another with equal duration, they can be written as follows:

Bol1Name++++Bol2Name++++Bol3Name++++ etc.

In the above syntax, the bols Bol1Name, Bol2Name, Bol3Name are played one after another, each for 1/3rd of a beat. Note that there is no space between 'Bol1Name++++', 'Bol2Name++++' and 'Bol3Name++++'. If space is given, each bol will be considered a separate group.

If multiple bols are to be played together, they can be written as follows:

{Bol1Name++++Bol2Name++++}[duration]

In the above syntax, the bols Bol1Name and Bol2Name are played together for the duration specified in square brackets [...]. Note that there is no space between 'Bol1Name++++' and 'Bol2Name++++'. Any space between 'Bol1Name++++' and 'Bol2Name++++' will result into an invalid notation error.

Sometimes, in a composition, the same bol can be played with different variations. You can write the notations for all those variations, separated by the symbol '|', with the whole group enclosed within parentheses and an optional duration. TaalMala will play any one of the bol groups randomly every time. Each bol group separated by the symbol '|' must be for same duration, whcih is optionally specified in square brackets [...] outside the parentheses, as illusrtated below.

(BolGroup1|BolGroup2|BolGroup3)[duration]

Other than separating individual bols or bol groups, no other white space (tab or space) is allowed in the Taal notation.

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 explicitly specified, it is automatically assumed to be 1 beat. Then onwards, for each beat, since the duration is not specified, the duration is implicitly assumed to be 1 beat (same as 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. This is achieved by adding two '+' signs at the end of each bol whose loudness is to be increased:

    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. This is accomplished by adding two '-' signs at the end of eacb bol whose loudness it to be decreased:

    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

    By the same logic, notice the bol group 'DhaGe', which occurs two times in the above Taal notation. The constituent bols, Dha and Ge, each are played for 0.5 beats.

  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 for each bol here. When duration is specified in this manner, each bol must be separated from the others by white space (tab or space), so that there are no bol groups. When specifying the duration in square brackets ([...]) like above, make sure that there are no spaces between the bol's name and opening square bracket, '['.

  6. In the above example, we can further specify the emphasis for each of the bols, if required, as follows. Each + or - sign increases or decreases the emphasis by 1 dB.

    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, viz. 'Dha+++Tra[0.25]' and 'DhinNa' By definition, each group's total duration is 1 beat. For the first group, duration for Tra in the end is specified as 0.25 beats. Therefore, the bol Dha+++ plays for (1 - 0.25) = 0.75 beats. In the second bol group, Dhin and Na each play for 0.5 beats.

  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 bol. 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 bol by 1 dB.

  9. Sometimes, in a Taal, the same bol can be played with different variations. For example, in a typical Teen Taal, the last four beats can be played as

    Na Dhin Dhin Dha,

    or

    TraKa Dhin Dhin Dha

    The above variations can be specified with the symbol '|' as follows:

    (Na|TraKa)[1] Dhin Dhin Dha

    The symbol '|' stands for "OR". TaalMala will randomly select and play either the bol Na or the bol group TraKa for this beat. Notice that such randomized bol groups must be of the same duration, must be separated by the symbol '|' and enclosed in parentheses (...), as illustrated above.

  10. You can also construct a complex bol using two individual basic bol sounds. For example, we know that Dha is a combination of Na and Ge. The default Dha sound in TaalMala plays with a pre-programmed emphasis on Tabla and Dagga sounds. If you wish to construct your own version of Dha, in which Na on Tabla plays softer and Ge plays louder, you can construct it as follows:

    {Na------Ge+} Dhin Dhin Dha

    The bols inside the curly brackets {...} are played together in the above example. You can also specify a duration for such bols, if needed, as follows:

    {Na------Ge+}[2] Dhin Dhin Dha

  11. 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. The symbol * or # must be after the + or - signs (if any), but before the duration (if any).

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 and SwarMandal from notation (Android/iOS)

From version 3.0 of TaalMala on Android/iOS, Premium Edition of TaalMala supports Lehra and SwarMandal 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).

With TaalMala Lehra/SwarMandal Composer, you can compose your own Lehras, SwarMandal patterns or complex compositions by simply entering the notation for the composition, as per the syntax rules below.

Each note or note group is separated from others by space (space, tab or a newline).

Single Note Syntax:

The general syntax for individual note is as follows:

NoteName++++[duration]

where,

  • NoteName: Name of the note entered from the Lehra composer keyboard. This is a character from the following set: SrRgGMmPdDnN'". A single quote, ', immediately following the note specifies the lower octave; a double quote, ", immediately following the note 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 loud or soft the note 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 for a note is not explicitly specified, it is assumed to be same as that of the previous note. If the duration of the very first note is not specified, it is assumed to be 1 beat.

Note Group Syntax:

A note group is a series of notes played either successively (one after another) or simultaneously (all together).

If multiple notes are to be played one after another with equal duration, they can be written as follows:

Note1Name++++Note2Name++++Note3Name++++ etc.

In the above syntax, the notes Note1Name, Note2Name, Note3Name are played one after another, each for 1/3rd of a beat. Note that there is no space between 'Note1Name++++', 'Note2Name++++' and 'Note3Name++++'. If space is given, each note will be considered a separate group.

If multiple notes are to be played together, they can be written as follows:

{Note1Name++++Note2Name++++}[duration]

In the above syntax, the notes Note1Name and Note2Name are played together for the duration specified in square brackets [...]. Note that there is no space between 'Note1Name++++' and 'Note2Name++++'. Any space between 'Note1Name++++' and 'Note2Name++++' will result into an invalid notation error.

Random Note Group Syntax:

Sometimes, in a composition, the same note can be played with different variations. You can write the notations for all those variations, separated by the symbol '|', with the whole group enclosed within parentheses and an optional duration. TaalMala will play any one of the note groups randomly every time. Each note group separated by the symbol '|' must be for same duration, whcih is optionally specified in square brackets [...] outside the parentheses, as illusrtated below.

(NoteGroup1|NoteGroup2|NoteGroup3)[duration]

Other than separating individual notes or note groups, no other white space (tab or space) is allowed in the Lehra/SwarMandal notation.

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 playd 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 notes are 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 slightly.

  9. Following is an example of a Raga Bhoop composition, which uses randomized note groups.

    (G++++|GRG+++~)[1] RS (G++|GRG++~)[1] R[0.5] S[1] R[0.5] SD' P'D'SR

    In the above line, the first and third note groups are randomized, such that either G or GRG~ are played randomly. It is possible to separate individual notes, note groups or polyphonic notes by '|', as long as they have the same total duration.

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/SwarMandal 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 (Android only)

TaalMala 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. This functionality is available in Android Classic/Premium Edition only.

  • 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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