Advanced Lesson: Ustad Zakir Hussain's "DhatiDhagena Dha Tirakita," Transcribed

As the title of this lesson suggests, this is the complete full-speed development of DhatiDhagena DhaTirakita as performed by Ustad Zakir Hussain on the album Selects.  I've long been captivated by this performance and finally decided to transcribe it to better understand Zakir ji's development process.  The transcription notes the time when each cycle is played so you can follow along.  If you don't own this album, buy it!  It represents some of the finest examples of Tabla music ever released.

I'm going to post the transcription both as jpegs and as a pdf to download.  Please note that the paltas are broken down into constituent blocks of phrases, not by matra.  I feel that this makes the composition much easier to read and better illuminates the thought process.

After completing the transcription, a few things jumped out at me.  Note that the bol tirakita, the primary subject of this kaida, is not played to an overwhelming degree; In fact, the only time two "Dha Tirakita" phrases are ever played back to back is once in avartaan 11 (in fact, the phrase is "Ta Tirakita" as it only occurs in the khali section).  The relationship between "Dha Tirakita" and its neighboring phrases of "Dhati" and "Dhagena" are of much more interest to Zakir ji.  The entire development is distinguished by the fluidity of the paltas, the use of farashbandi (paltas where the khali section does not match the bhari section, such as avartaans 4 and 11 among others), and the way one palta informs the next.  Note that the extended roll in the khali section of avartaans 12 and 13 is a throwback to Ustad Habibuddin Khan.  Overall the performance has a feeling of spontaneity which I find extremely enjoyable. 

I hope that other tabla players can use this transcription to help inform their own kaida developments, rather than just memorize and imitate this one.  In a future blog post I'll provide a transcription of my guru Pandit Sudhir Mainkar's development of this same kaida for contrast.  If you appreciate this material and want to see more, let me know!