Indian Rhythms for Handpan
Explore the system of konnakol and expand the potential of your instrument
Transform your music
Konnakol is an Indian system for rhythm that combines small rhythmic phrases to build longer more complex musical ideas. It is an integral part of South Indian classical music, in the same way that harmony is in the Western musical tradition.
Practised and refined over centuries it is a comprehensive system of rhythm that improves a musician's creativity, timing, and cultural understanding. Konnakol teaches us to train and exercise the mind, so the body can be liberated to play freely.
About the course
Over 21 videos lasting a total of an hour, the fundamentals of konnakol are explained in a clear and practical way, for beginner and intermediate handpan players. Through the exercises in these videos you will become familiar with concepts such as 'tala', learn combinations of konnakol syllables called 'jātis', and discover imaginative ways of applying these concepts to the handpan. Most importantly you will be inspired to explore adventurous ideas that will take your playing in new directions.
People signed up to the course will also receive and invitation for a discussion group on Slack*, where they can communicate and share ideas with other people taking the course.
* The invite will be send within 48 hours of joining the course.
Background to the course
For eight years I have learned konnakol, with more than half of this time as a committed student to mridangham virtuoso Sri Balachander. During my studies I have used konnakol to explore the handpan, and also taught these methods to various students. After receiving enthusiastic and positive feedback I tested and refined these lessons for a number of years, before using them as the basis for building this online course.
Konnakol has a universal relevance to musicians because its core ideas are built around simple number patterns and formulas, in a way similar to theories of maths or science. Such ideas allowed konnakol to survive and thrive in India for centuries. Now with advanced communication and transport technology musicians throughout the world – and from all sorts of traditions – are applying konnakol to their practice.
The Big Picture
By learning from other cultures we can grow closer together not only musically, but as people. One of the great privileges of our age is the increased ability to learn from musical traditions beyond those which we were born into, and by doing so help in the formation of a globalised musical language that enriches our collective cultural landscape.
Dom is a composer and handpan player based in London. He has studied South Indian Carnatic music from mridangam virtuoso Sri Balachander. He has performed at world renowned music venues and festivals such as the Southbank Centre, The Bhavan Centre, and Latitude Festival. In 2018 Dom released his debut album 'Geometric' – an urban influenced classical music project inspired by Indian Carnatic music.