TYPES OF COMPOSITIONS

There are many types of tabla compositions, and such compositions have been composed considering the different requirements or unique ideas during different time periods. The types of compositions played, and the style of playing various compositions, varies from gharana to gharana. We can divide all of such compositions into two big categories: fixed compositions and expansionary compositions.

Expansionary Compositions

Expansionary (expandable) compositions are those which may be expanded upon through various paltas or variations in a specific manner. This expansion may be done in both a pre-planned mannner (such as memorizing variations and patterns) or in a spontaneous, live, improvised manner according to one's musical thought process. Expansionary compositions such as relas or kaydas often times have specific rules or guidelines, such as only including the bols found in the mukh or altering the next palta based on the pattern of the previous one. Expansionary compositions primarily include peshkaar, kayda, rela, gat-kayda, ladi, etc. 

Fixed / Pre-Composed Compositions

A fixed composition implies that the composition will not be expanded upon through paltas or variations. Often times, composers will compose a certain experience within a given laya and with suitable bols and phrases. Compositions such as gats may take a long time to compose, and can't be designed impromptu. Fixed compositions are mostly played near the end of a performance and may also show the significance of certain phrases through emphasis or a specific playing manner. Fixed compositions primarily include tukdas, gats, gat-tukdas, chakradaars, etc. 

Types of compositions, in alphabetical order

Click on the composition to learn more

Aamad


Chakradaar (includes farmaishi chakradaar and kamaali chakradaar)

Chalan


Gat


Gat-Kayda


Gat-Paran


Gat-Tukda


Kayda


Kissm


Ladi


Laggi


Mohra 


Mukhda


Palta


Paran


Peshkaar


Rou


Rela


Theka


Tihai (includes bedum tihai and dumdaar tihai)


Tukda


Uthaan