These music files are meant to accompany the book Antiphonal Histories: Resonant Pasts in the Toba Batak Musical Present.
About the book:
Positioned on a major trade route, the Toba Batak people of Sumatra have long witnessed the ebb and flow of cultural influence from India, the Middle East, and the West. Living as ethnic and religious minorities within modern Indonesia, Tobas have recast this history of difference through interpretations meant to strengthen or efface the identities it has shaped. Antiphonal Histories examines Toba musical performance as a legacy of global history, and a vital expression of local experience. This intriguingly constructed ethnography searches the palm liquor stand and the sanctuary to show how Toba performance manifests its many histories through its “local music”—Lutheran brass band hymns, gong-chime music sacred to Shiva, and Jimmie Rodgers yodeling. Combining vivid narrative, wide-ranging historical research, and personal reflections, Antiphonal Histories traces the musical trajectories of the past to show us how the global is manifest in the performative moment.
Solkattu, the spoken rhythms and patterns of hand-clapping used by all musicians and dancers in the classical traditions of South India, is a subject of worldwide interest—but until now there has not been a textbook for students new to the practice. Designed especially for classroom use in a Western setting, the manual begins with rudimentary lessons in the simplest South Indian tala, or metric cycle, and proceeds step-by-step into more challenging material. David Nelson's Solkattu Manual: An Introduction to the Rhythmic Language of South Indian Music provides lessons in the eight-beat adi tala, arranged so that by the end, students will have learned a full percussion piece they can perform as an ensemble. An older edition of Solkattu Manual included two DVDs featuring performances of all 150 lessons, and full performances of all three of the outlined small-ensemble pieces. All lessons are now available at this site.
Introduction, examples, and solo performer: David Nelson
Tani for two players: Geoffrey Brown, David Nelson
Tani for four players: Ruby Ross, Aaron Paige, Dennis Chan, Geoffrey Brown
Video and post-production: Mariah E. Klaneski
Project Supervisor: Allynn Wilkinson