The rhythmic structures inspired by Indian music

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
185MRIH Z 2 4S English winter and summer

Subject guarantor


Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

module -

Mode of study

Module workshop

Prerequisites and co-requisites

The workshop is particularly appropriate for the students of instrumental departments.

Course contents

Solkattu are South Indian Percussion syllables or Onomatopoeia which are played on instruments such as the Mrdangam (barrel shaped, two sided, tuned percussion instrument), Tavil (a temple two sided drum, played with hardened capped fingers and a stick), Ghatam (a tuned clay pot), and the Kanjira (a lizard skin tamburine).

Each Solkattu phrase and sound is related to left and right hand finger technique, timbre, position of hands and fingers on the instrument and mathematical calculations.

This is an oral & aural language that is first recited while keeping the hand Tala and later played on an instrument.

The Tala is a specific cyclic hand pattern counted with fingers, claps and waves. Each Tala has a different hand pattern (we will look at different Tala’s in the workshop).

We will also work on simple Solkattu and Hand techniques. And instead of traditional instruments, I encourage the participants to bring any kind of sounding object / cardboard box / metal lunch box or hand percussion instrument.

Besides hand drumming, I have developed specific walking exercises while reciting Solkattu and hand clapping (which is fun in a group). These exercises help solidify and synchronize the three parts each person does:

1 Walking a specific foot pattern.

2 Reciting solkattu phrases in different speeds.

3 Specific hand claps.

The Solkattu phrases can be used with or without the hand techniques. The concepts and phrases can be applied or transposed to other instruments including drum kit, melodic instruments, frame drums, tamburines, darbuka and others. They can also be used in other musical contexts, for rhythmic education and as a tool for composition.

Recommended or required reading

REINA, Rafael. Applying Karnatic Rhythmical Techniques to Western Music. London, New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis group, 2016. 460 stran. ISBN 978-1-4724-5150-7 notové ukázky

Assessment methods and criteria

Credits are conditioned with active participation in the workshops. Credits are awarded according to the decision of the tutor and MgA. Iva OPLIŠTILOVÁ, Ph.D.



Further information

This course is an elective for all students of this school

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
18.10.2019 10:00–14:00 Iva OPLIŠTILOVÁ Galerie HAMU
Lichenštejnský palác

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans