By Paul Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW
Join musician and music therapist Paul Roberts for a free hand-drumming class at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Tuesday, July 10, at noon.
The class offers a welcoming environment that encourages fun, creativity, playfulness and connecting with others. Drums are provided for those who do not have one. Designed as an opportunity for people of all ages to unleash their creativity, the drumming class is a family-friendly activity open to all ages. No previous experience is necessary.
Drums occupy a very important place in the music of India, a country which has created an incredibly elaborate rhythmic art. Of the enormous number of drums India has produced, the tabla are the most well-known. For a truly magnificent experience, search the words, “tabla solo,” on YouTube and listen to awe-inspiring rhythms played by some of India’s virtuoso percussionists.
Tabla consist of two drums each played by a different hand, tapping on them in various ways to produce different tones and rhythms. These sounds are strung together in sequences that create rhythmic patterns. In the hands of an expert player the tabla can create sea of sound. In India, tabla are used in traditional, classical, popular and folk music.
Indian rhythms are taught through a language of mnemonic syllables that correlate to the various strokes of the tabla. While learning the extraordinary technique of the Indian tabla is way outside the scope of this class, we can utilize elements of this drumming language, vocalizations of the actual sounds produced by the tabla, as well as the hand clapping, waving, touching fingers on thigh that are used to keep track of the intricate structures of this ancient rhythmic system.
Listening to Indian tabla is inspiring and expands our appreciation for the different kinds of rhythms and tone a drum can produce.
For more information about the Pagosa hand-drumming class, call 731-3117. The Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave.
By Paul Roberts