The Karatala, also know as “kartals”, are a pair of cymbals used as a percussion instrument in Kirtan and other traditional Indian music. The word Karatāla comes from ancient Sanskrit, kara meaning "hand" or "arm" and tāla meaning "rhythm" or "beat". The kartals are made out of bell metals, usually bronze, brass, copper, and zinc that produce the high-pitch metallic sound that characterizes the instrument. Previously only found in India, these versatile instruments are now played all of the world thanks to A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, who brought the tradition of Kirtan to the United States and the Western world in the 1960’s.
The kartals are the easiest of all the Kirtan instruments to learn and play, and often taking less than a month to grasp. Students who take this course will learn to play all the main rhythms used in Kirtan. Materials, videos, and instruction will be provided.