PREVIOUSLY UN-PUBLISHED COMPOSITION #2 – Heroic Journey Theme Variations

Heroic Journey Variations

Theme variation or vistara (Indian language) in tabla composition is quite unique. The rules are very strict, but this rigidity helps students and players to stay focused on a single emotion, while expanding a specific composition. There are two primary rules. First, we are not allowed to use a syllable that is not in the main theme. Second, we can alter time signatures, but only for the entire composition. For example, we are allowed to play the composition at its double, triple, or quadruple speeds, but not a combination of different speeds.

These variations are composed by me. At the beginning we memorize the variations and practice them hard for several years. Eventually, we develop our own ability to improvise, just like the way we learn a foreign language.

I wrote the main theme in single speed in my last post. Here, I have written its double, triple and quadruple speeds, and the remaining variations will be written at quadruple speed. Ultimately, this composition will be performed at quadruple speed. I will use two claps per line instead of four, because density of notes will increase by two/three/four times. I have also reduced the font size at quadruple speed. Please make a note that phrases are sometimes going over the bar lines depending on the speed. I like to label variations in alphabetical orders (a, b, c…).


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