Shri Chitravina Narasimhan talks about Kriya and Angam, as part of the discussion on the Tala Dasha Pranas.


Here is a summary:

Kriya refers to the manner of action in which a tala anga is rendered. Eg. beating of palm, waving of hands or finger counting etc. The Shashabdha kriya refers to any tala execution which produces sound, like the beat at the beginning of the adi tala and at the beginning of each of the dhrutams. Th Nishabdha Kriye is a sound-less execution like the counting of fingers in Adi tala. So the Adi tala is said to have 3 Shashabdha kriyas and 5 Nishabdha kriyas. Although there are some other classifications which are provided below just for academic interest, the point mentioned above should suffice for all practical purposes.
In the Shashabdha kriya there are a few varieties:

  1. Dhruva – Snapping the fingers.

  2. Samya – Striking on the right-hand palm with the left hand.

  3. Tala – Striking on the left-hand palm with the right hand.

  4. Sannipata – Bringing the two hands in front of the face and clapping simultaneously.

In the Nishabdha kriya the varieties are:

  1. Avapa – Lifting up the hand and folding the fingers as in counting.

  2. Vikshepa – unfolding the fingers

  3. Nishkrama – moving the arm towards the right

  4. Pravesa  – Bringing the arm down, making an anti-clockwise movement.

Angam – This indicates the constituent parts of  a tala. The most commonly used are the 6 angas or shadangas including anudhrutam, dhrutam, laghu, guru, plutam and kakapadam. There are also 16 angas called shodasangas which were used in other older talas.
The Marga Talas which were part of the 108 talas used in ancient times only contained three angas, namely Laghu, Guru and Plutam. Later on, the angas  Dhrutam and Viramam came into usage followed by the Anudhrutam. The Kakapadam came much later. These 6 angas are collectively known as Shadangas. Combinations of these basic angas gave rise to complex angas resulting in 16 variations called the Shodashangas. To understand how these angas are rendered, please refer the video.

  1. Anudhrutam – 1 beat

  2. Dhrutam – 2 beats

  3. Dhrutaviramam  – 3 beats

  4. Laghu – 4 beats

  5. Laghuviramam – 5 beats

  6. Laghudhrutam – 6 beats

  7. Laghudhrutaviramam – 7 beats

  8. Guru – 8 beats

  9. Guruviramam – 9 beats

  10. Gurudhrutam – 10 beats

  11. Gurudhrutaviramam – 11 beats

  12. Plutam – 12 beats

  13. Plutaviramam – 13 beats

  14. Plutadhrutam – 14 beats

  15. Plutadhrutaviramam – 15 beats

  16. Kakapadam – 16 beats


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