This course is for those devotees who want to learn how to play the mrdanga with reasonable competency in a menthodical, clear and enlivening way in a relatively short period of time.
It includes the following:
· An explanation of the most popular tals (rhythmic cycles) using Indian musical notation.
· Illustrations of the various types of strokes on the mardanga.
· A clear presentation of mrdanga rhythmic patterns for slow, medium and fast bhajans and kirtans
· The prabhupada beat.
· Playing breaks
Playing the mrdanga is a very important skill for use in the sankirtana movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is often seen dancing in a kirtana accompanied by mrdanga players. Very soon after Srila Prabhupada arrived in America he sent for mrdangas from India. Even though the first American mrdanga players were not very expert in comparison with many Bengali players, Srila Prabhupada still praised their playing and encouraged them. He also personally gave mrdanga lessons to the early devotees.
Now, by the grace of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the sankirtana movement has spread all over the world. Hari-name-sankirtana is heard in all of the major cities on the surface of the globe. Daily in temples throughout the world, regular kirtanas, aratis and bhajanas are going on. It is obvious that Lord Caitanya's movement needs many competent mrdanga players.
Traditionally the training of a really expert mrdanga player under the direction of a master player would take several years, with a minimun of one hour of practice per day. Ideally this training starts from an early age. This is still going in, especially in traditional centers of Gaudiya Vaisnava culture such as Navadvipa, Vrndavana and Jagannatha Puri. Many devotees throughout the world, however, do no have the opportunity, time or inclination to learn in this way, but they still want to learn to play the mrdanga with reasonable competency, and in a methodical, clear and enlivening way. This course is for them.
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