Laya - Rhythm:

Laya means rhythm.  Everything in the universe is going on in rhythm. A man walking, a bird singing, heart beating and almost everything have their own unique laya or rhythm.

In music also melody and rhythm go together, hand in hand. In music, the melody is breath and the rhythm is heartbeat. Together they make alive music.

Rhythm is an essential and integral part of music. In Indian classical music we start a raga with aalap. Alaap consists of many combinations, patterns and clusters of musical notes. In the beginning aalap is rendered without the rhythmic cycle, still each of patterns of the alaap consists of its own integral rhythm patterns.

After the initial allap, the Jod-alaap, Jod-jhalaa, Bandish (Composition) and improvisations thereafter are rendered with the rhythmic cycle though only the Bandish and the improvisations thereafter are rendered with the rhythmic cycle provided by the taal.

 

Layakari - Patterns in Laya or Rhythm:

Layakari literally means Rhythmic Play. Layakari is different types of simple as well as complex rhythmic patterns. Layakari is rendered in accordance with a base tempo or rhythm.  For example; If the base tempo is 8 beats per cycle and the notes played are 16 (provided all the notes are equally distributed) then, 16/8= 2, so the rhythm is double or we say Dugun Laya. Similarly when the notes played are 24, 24/8= 3, then the rhythm is triple or Tigun Laya. When the notes played are 32 then 32/8=4, the rhythm is four times or Chaugun Laya.

For example purpose, a rhythmic cycle of 8 beats is given here. And all the notations are based on raga Yaman.

[Sum: The starting point or the 1st beat of the rhythmic cycle. Also the starting point of the dominated parts of the rhythmic cycle. Denoted as:  X

Khali: The starting point of the sub-dominated parts of the rhythmic cycle. Denoted as:  O]

 

1.        One note per beat: 1/1= 1, ( 8 notes divided equally in 8 beats:  8/8= 1 )

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

X

 

 

 

O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.N

R

G

M

D

N

R’

S’

 

2.      Two notes per beat - Also known as Dugun Laya: 2/1= 2, ( 16 notes divided equally in 8 beats:  16/8= 2 )

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

X

 

 

 

O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.NR

GM

DN

R’S’

ND

PM

GR

SS

 

3.       Three Notes per beat – Also known as Tigun Laya: 3/1= 3 ( 24 notes divided equally in 8 beats:  24/8= 3 )

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

X

 

 

 

O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.NRG

RGM

GMD

MDN

R’S’N

DPM

DPM

GRS ( ex 1 )

.N>R

G>M

D>N

G’R’S’

N>D

P>M

P>M

GRS ( ex 2 )

 

4.      Four notes per beat – Also known as Chaugun Laya: 4/1= 4 ( 32 notes divided equally in 8 beats:  32/8= 4 )

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

X

 

 

 

O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.NRGM

RGMD

GMDN

MDNR’

G’R’S’N

DPMG

NDPM

GRSS

 

5.      Five notes per beat:  5/1= 5 ( 40 notes divided equally in 8 beats:  40/8= 5 )

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

X

 

 

 

O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.NRGMD

RGMDN

GMDNR’

MDNR’S’

NDPMG

DPMGR

P>MGR

MGRSS

.NR.NRG

RGRGM

GMGMD

MDMDN

DNDNR’

S’NDPM

GMGMD

PMGRS

 

6.      Six notes per beat:  6/1= 6 ( 48 notes divided equally in 8 beats:  48/8= 6 )

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

X

 

 

 

O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.NRG,RGM

GMD,MDN

GM,MD,DN

MD,DN,NS’

N>D,P>M

D>P,M>G

DPM,G>R

P>M,GRS

 

7.      Seven notes per beat: 7/1= 7 ( 56 notes divided equally in 8 beats:  56/8= 7 )

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

X

 

 

 

O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.NRG,NRGM

RGM,RGMD

G>M,DNG’R’

S’>N,DNS’>

NR’G’R’,S>N

DPMG,RGM

GMDN,R’>S’

NDPM,GRS