Mridanga Thatwam (Telugu)

Sri Dharmala Rama Murthy sought Mridangam as his vocation in life and had the good fortune of accompanying the great stalwarts hailing from the South India. In those days the Gurus (masters) were generally conversative and did not disclose the secrets of the art of Mridangam. The disciple himself had to pick up the intricacies of the art by his own intelligence. A thought flashed in Dharmala later to put his vast knowledge in writing for the benifit of the posterity. Further there were no books worth mentioning on the subject. He, therefore, sat himself with the determination and started writing up a book explaining the various Talas of straight and intricate pattern. He laboured hard with respite, for nearly twenty years and producd a voluminous book called MRIDANGA THATWAM by the end of 1965.

The manuscript was first presented to Sri Palghat Mani Iyer, the world famous Mridanga Vidwan for his authentic opinion. He went through the book with the assistance of a Tamil and Telugu knowing scholar and felt over-joyed. He described the book as a stupendous work indeed. Sri Palghat Mani Iyer has also released the first edition of this book at a public function in Rajahmundry.See the photo of this releasing function and other functions.

Sri Bala Murali Krishna also expressed great praise on his effort. Click here for the commendations/opinions expressed by several stalwarts on this book.


The Central Sangeeta Nataka akademy referred the book to experts like Sarvasri Mudikondan Venkataram Iyer and Tinnem Venkataram Iyer. The carefully scrutinised the book and found it worthy of publication and recommended grant-in-aid to Sri Dharmala Rama Murhy.

In this book, the author explained the relation between Kaala and Maarga and about Jaathi and Gathibheda differences and the Dasapraanas of Thaala. In the same way in the chapter on Lakshya (practise) while writing the Prastara (elaboration) of excersies for beginners, the hand/finger position to be used have been indicated on the excersies or the series given, On the photos of the right and left side of the instrument, the places and the exact sounds that can be produced there are noted below the figures. The Paatantharas(lessons) for the thirty five Thaalas and the duration of laghu, druta, anudruta are also given.

Very many details about the technique of the playing have been given for the use of interested students. It is no exaggeration to say that beginners can easily practise by themselves with the aid of this book. Students can acquire in short time a good style og playing on the instrument at higher degrees of speed and also provide good rythmic effects to compositions when sung.

There are also many details to help advanced students. In the tabular forms, calculations of Kriya-Aksharas for Muktaayis(Korvais in Tamil) with Gathi Bheda are furnished. One can understand the form of the muktaayi, its Jaathi, Gathi, and Kaala and also learn to use Thaala Kriya Jaathis from a close study of the tables. All necessary explanation with examples has been given for easy understanding.

Price : $25 (excluding $5 for shipping within USA)
The book is available in India and in USA. Further information can be obtained through e-mail at vrdharmala@yahoo.com