Overview for Playing Techniques of Tabla: Banaras Gharana
The Tabla is the most popular Percussion instrument of North India. Each sound on the Tabla has an onomatopoetic syllable to represent it. Therefore, the Tabla Player must learn to speak a new language in addition to playing. These syllables are, in fact, the main mode of teaching and communicating Tabla material. They help the student to understand the sound to be produced and aid the memorization of compositions.
There are many books available on the subject of Tabla and writers have written, focusing their own areas. No doubt, these books are useful for students, but some specific terms are left unexplained viz. controversy in technical words and some specific clarifications in practical/ experimental aspect, which is very essential for the students. Proper knowledge of Gharana (style) is very important.
Chhote Lal Misra (Author)
Pt. Chhote Lal Misra, Born in a Bengali family on the 12th April, 1940 and alighted as a world renowned Tabla maestro the legend Pt. Chhote lal Misraji took initiation in Tabla at an early age of six and learnt the art of playing Tabla systematically under the 'Guru-Sishyra' tradition from the Legendary Tabla wizard of Banaras (Late) Pt. Anokhe Lal Mishraji always remembered as the King of 'NA DHIN DHIN NA' Pt. Misraji is endowed with an exceptional tonal quality of his right fingers and a blend of light filigree touch of the right drum depth of the left. As such, his zeal to learn more and more has made him fully acquainted with Banaras Baaz. The presentation of difficult Compositions, Tihais and difficult Layakaris with proper weight and clarity but in a simple and easy manner, is the main specially of his recital. Pt. Chhote Lal Misraji has accompanied famous artists, presented Solo recitals in a befitting manner in the national and international programmes and served as visitng professor in a praise-worthy way in the various institutions and Universities viz. Pennsylvania, Denmark, Swedan and London etc. He also performed in Princeton University (New Jersey), Asia HOuse (New York), ravi Shankar Music Circle, Ali Akbar khan Sangeet Mahavidyalaya (California), Vesselian University (USA_, Chicago, San Francisco, Sonoma State university (California), Boston, Philadelphai, London, Paris, Japan, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Swedan, Norway, Netherland, Holland, Canada and Nepal etc. A few names of those reputed artistes who Panditji accompanied on national and international stages, can be mentioned here-Ustad bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Nissar Khan, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Pt ram Chatur Mallik, Pt. Siyaram Tiwari, Pt. Basavraj Rajguru, Vidushi Kishori Amonkar, Vidushi Girija devi, Lakshmi Shankar, Nirmala devi, Prof. M.R. Gautam, Pt. Rajan-sajan Mishra, Pt. jasraj, Ustad Halim Zafar Khan, Prof. Radhika Mohan Moitra, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Prof. V.G. Jog, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Pt. hari Prasad Chaurasia, Dr. N. Rajam, Pt. Buddhadev Das Gupta, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pt. Buddhaditya Mukherjee, Pt. Vishwamohan Bhatt and others. In karnatik -Hindustani Duet Recital, Prof. T.V. Gopalkrishnan, Pt. Umayalpuram V.K. Shivraman Pt. M.S. Gopal Krishnan and other. Pt. Chhote Lal Misra has been awarded with many titles viz. sangeet Shree, Prakhyat tabla Vadak, Akhil Bharatiya kala Ratna, Pt. Ratna, pt. Bikku Maharaj Sangeet Samman, Navras Sangeet Vachaspati Award (D. Litt), Senior National fellowship Award (Ministry of Cultural, Govt. of India), also found place in 'who's who Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi. Pt. Misraji's biography as also found place in several books and text books. The book 'Taal Prasoon', 'Taal Prabandh' and 'Tabla Granth' written by him, has gained popularity as a rare creations. His accompaniment and solo performances are also available in the form of L.P., E.P. Cassette, C.D. and V.C.D. There is a long chain of his disciples in the country as well as abroad. They are doing well and going ahead in the field of Tabla and are able to brighten the name of our Guruji. The Exponent Tabla player of Banaras Gharana Pt. Chhote Lal Misra retired from service in the year 2002 as reader (Instrumental Music), faculty of Performing Arts, B.H.U., Varanasi and was granted extension for further three years. He is now guiding and providing training to a large number of disciples under 'Guru-Shishya' tradition imparting knowledge of speciality and eminence of Banaras style of playing Tabla.