I am struggling with the concept of Rhythm or Laya in Bansuri

Right now, understand that Laya is the speed at which notes are played one after another.

But how do I read Bansuri notes such that I understand the Laya. There are many resources on Google that discuss Laya, but I just cannot seem to comprehend it.

And one Bansuri video tutorial (at end of this post) shows the instructor playing 4-4 Tabla app in background, but I am unsure of how that helps with Laya.

Why does he need 4-4 Tabla?

So far, I am reading Bansuri notes for tunes I am very familiar with.

For instance, Om Jai Jagdish Hare first line is

Om Jai Jagdish Hare

I instinctively play it as


Any advice for this newcomer?


1 Answer 1


@brahadeesh suggested making comment into answer. So here it is

He doesn't “need” 4-4 time. He's just happened to match the melody (scale or sargam) to 4-4 time (taal) . Here he does it in 3-3 and here in rupak (7) and jhaptal (5-5)


Western and Indian timing notations are different – the denominator is always a power of 2 in western

  • 3-3 : dadra : 3/4
  • 4-4 : keherwa (bhajani) : 8/4
  • 4-4-4-4 : teentaal : 16/4 or 16/8
  • 5-5 : jhaptal : 10/4 or 10/8
  • 7 : rupak : 7/8

Friendly suggestion

Don't try to think of the taal; instead just play along with the YouTube. For that tuning may be necessary... If I were to do it I'd use

  • YouTube downloader
  • ffmpeg to convert video to audio
  • audacity to retune.

If you need more guidance ask another question!!


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