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Tap to the tabla and hop to the bop

TEACH YOURSELF TABLA By T L Kalyan Kalyan Musik, Pounds 9.95. 55 Wallis Road, Southall, Middlesex UB1 3LB.

This short book stems from Tarsem Kalyan's work with the London-based Community Music organisation. Faced with the task of creating and maintaining an interest in the tabla among beginner musicians, he developed a thoroughly pragmatic teaching method. This brought together theoretical and practical elements within a progressive and carefully structured process, and thus enabled students to learn effectively. Teach Yourself Tabla is the outcome of that process.

It is divided into 18 lessons which are linked to information on the history, nature, basic sounds, tuning, finger positions and rhythm cycles associated with the instrument. Good use is made of charts (like the layouts of the heads of the two drums), illustrations and tables. It is a pity that an incongruous facsimile of a western classical orchestral conductor features so strongly and that the book contains no index.

There is much here that will be of use to teachers developing pupils' skills in Indian music within the 14-18 age-range.

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