LAY (LAYA) - THE Tempo - Study24x7
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LAY (LAYA) - THE Tempo

Vanita tambakhe Published on 27 June 2020

Lay is the tempo, or speed of a piece. The Hindi term for tempo is "lay" and is der­ived from the Sanskrit term "laya". It is a very simple con­cept, but its application is some­times complicated.

It goes with­out saying that there have to be some practical limit to usable tempi. One beat every ten minutes would be so slow as to be mus­ically useless. At the other end of the spectrum we can see that 100 beats per se­cond would be so fast that it would be perceived as a tone and not as a rhythm. A ge­ne­ral break­down of In­dian lay is shown in the following table:

Lay (tempo)
640 beats-per-min
320 beats-per-min
160 beats-per-min
80 beats-per-min
40 beats-per-min
20 beats-per-min
10 beats-per-min

The table is an idealised break­down of lay; how­ever, the real world is con­si­der­ably more comp­lex. For example the designations of ati drut, ati vilambit, etc. are sel­dom heard among practicing music­ians. This tends to stretch the previous table so that there is no longer a 2-1 re­la­tionship bet­ween the var­ious designations. To make mat­ters even more comp­lex, it has been observed that vocalists use a slower definition of time than instrumentalists. Fur­ther­more the rhyt­hmic con­cepts of the light and film music­ians run at a higher tempo but show a peculiar compression of scale.

The lay or tempo us­ually changes throughout the performance. These changes in tempo are in­ext­ric­ably linked to the var­ious mus­ical styles. In ge­ne­ral we can say that only very short pieces will main­tain a fairly steady pace. Most styles will start at one tempo and then increase in speed.

Indian Rhythmic Instruments

Ghatam,tabla,mrudang ,pakhawaj,zanj,damru,ghungru, kartal,manjira,dholak, nagada,manjira,sambal,table,tasha,etc


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