National Seminar at Bhubaneswar on Current Trends in Tabla: Its Therapeutic Potency Visualized

Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak

For the first time Bhubaneswar held a national seminar and lecture demonstration on “Current Trends in Tabla” from 24th to 26th February, 2016, where Orissa Government’s Culture Department partnered with the Department of Tabla of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya (USM) in bringing together illustrious lights of Music, specifically of Tabla, to deliberate upon every possible aspect of the instrument including its different guiding Gharanas.

The topics discussed in-depth were as varied as challenging.


Binod Bihari RautThe seminar commenced with Guru Binod Bihari Raut as resource person on “Origin of Tabla in the evolution of percussion instruments”. Initially trained in Tabla in USM under the guidance of Pt. Umesh Chandra Kar and Guru Kulamani Jena, he is an accomplished disciple of Guru Harmohan Khuntia. Now a faculty of USM, he excels in Delhi and Farukkabad Gharana of Tabla. He has enriched Tabla education with as many as five books so far.

Harmohan KhuntiaAkash R. BiswalThe second session of the day was taken up by the great Guru Pt. Harmohan Khuntia on the topic captioned “Bandish Ek Roop Anek”. A disciple of Guru Kshetramohan Kar and Radhagovind Ghosh at the intial stage, he is a main liner student of Pt. Gyan Prakash Ghosh. An accomplished legend in Tabla, he is also an excellent player of Orissi Mardala. A many faceted master, he is teaching the art of Tabla, Orissi Pakhawaj, when his Orissi Classical Songs and Hindustani Classical Vocal Music make him the most distinguishable amongst revered lights in the field. Akash Ranjit Biswal gave him demonstrative support with Harmonium.

Pramod k SahuGuru Pramod Kumar Sahoo was the resource person for the next subject of the day “Alterations in the developed Tabla and its application”. A master in Music from Utkal University of Culture, he had graduated from USM. He owes his expertise in Tabla to Pt. Umesh Chandra Kar, Pt. Kulamani Jena and Dr. Tapas Paul.

Tapas Paul“Evolution of musical terminologies in Tabla and its application” was the fourth and last subject of the first day. Dr. Tapas Paul led the discussion as the resource person. With his father as his first Guru in Music, he received intensive training from Pt. Om Prakash Rao. After training, he joined Bhatkhande Music College, Lucknow and obtained “Sangeet Nipun” degree. Now a renowned musician of India, he is decorated with “Tal Mani” from Sur Sringar Sansad. He owes his excellence in Tabla to Pt. Anindo Chatterjee, Pt. Sital Prasad Mishra and Prof. S.K.Verma. Bidyadhar Satpathy gave him Harmonium support.

After the debates, students of Tabla department of USM gave a performance under guidance of Guru Pramod Kumar Sahoo.


Kulamani SahuThe 2nd day seminar on February 25 commenced with the topic “Reflection of Gharana on a perfect disciple” with Guru Kulamani Sahu as the resource person. Based at Bhubaneswar, a senior instrumentalist at the Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, he is not only a highly proficient Tabla exponent, but also a renowned vocalist in Orissi genre and a Mridangam artist. He studied Tabla under stalwarts like Pt. Umesh Chandra kar, Guru Kulamani Jena, and Pt. Harmohan Khuntia. His higher training was accomplished under Ustad Sabir Khan. Akash Ranjit Biswal gave him Harmonium support.

Akram KhanUstad Akram Khan was the resource person on the next topic “Ajrada Gharana: An overview and comparative analysis with other Gharanas”. Initially trained by Ustad Niazu Khan, he has also been blessed by Ustad Mohd. Shari Khan. A Sangeet Praveen from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad, he continues earning excellence under the guidance of his father Ustad Hashmat Ali Khan. To him, accompaniment was given with Harmonium by Shiv Kumar Tandiya.

suresh k. beheraSuresh Kumar Behera presented a paper on “Origin and evolution of Tabla Gharana”. A performing Tabla teacher of reputation, he is a student of Pt. Umesh Chandra Kar, Guru Binod Bihari Raut, Guru Rankanidhi Pradhan, Guru Sandeep raut and Guru Ajay Kumar Biswal. He is a gold-medalist in M.Mus from the UUC, Bhubaneswar.

Sushil PatnaikGuru Sushil Pattanaik presented a paper on “The effect of Rasa in Taal”. A social worker of high reputation, who finds the pleasure of life in standing with the helpless, he is Master in Oriya language, besides holder of M.Mus and Sangeet Bisharad. A Ph.D. scholar in Tabla under the UUC, he has the rare distinction of training mentally challenged children in Tabla, as experimentation on therapeutic potency of the rhythms.

At the end of the day, Ustad Akram Ali Khan presented a Tabla recital.


Sandip K. RautPranay PalaiGita PandaLaxmi P PattanayakOn the final and last day of the seminar, Dr. Sandip Kumar Raut was the resource person on “Comparative study on solo and accompaniment”. Much before UUC was conceived, he had obtained his MA in Music (Tabla) from the Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. He is a dedicated disciple of Pt. Kulamani Jena, Pt. Harmohan Khuntia and Pt. Umesh Chandra Kar. A higher education teacher in Tabla at UUC, he is a renowned Sarod player of Orissa. He possesses the rare ability to accompany vocalists as well as instrumentalists with equal ease and excellence, which he demonstrated while giving Tabla support to Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak in his solo presentation of violin and to Pranay Palai in his solo Hindustani Vocal. In the excellent Tabla recital Dr, Raut presented during his analytical demonstration, Laxmi Prasad was also his accompanists in Violin with Tanpura support from Gita Panda.

Mukund BhaleNext was Prof. Mukund Bhale from Gwalior. Initiated into Tabla by Pt. Yashwant RaoShirgaonkar, he received mainstream training in Farukkhabad Gharana as a disciple of Pt. Y. Kerkar. He topped the ‘Vid’ degree in Tabla from Jiwaji University, Gwalior. Formerly Dean, faculty of Talavidya at Bhatkhande Sangeet Sansthan (deemed University), he is presently Professor in Tabla at Indira Kala Sngit Vishwavidyala, Chhatisgarh. Shiv Kumar Tandiya gave him Nagma support in Harmonium.

Samarendra NayakAjay K. BiswalGuru Samarendra Nayak presented an ‘Analytical study on Farukkhabad Gharana in Orissa when another paper on ‘Effect of sounds of Tabla in the psychological development of children’ was presented by Guru Ajay Biswal.

Tabla students of USM

Dr Suman Das Prl USMStudents of Tabla department of USM offered a Tabla program under direction of Guru Binod Bihari Raut to mark the conclusion of the Seminar.USM Principal in-charge, Dr. Suman Das who is also the Registrar of Utkal University of Culture was the principal inspirer of the event.

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