Konnakol is South Indian “vocal percussion.” In konnakol, performers use each syllable, and its accompanying sound, to communicate a rhythm, sort of like a jazz singer would “scat” or a rapper would beat-box. There are vocalizations aplenty in konnakol, enabling the performer to effectively have entire conversations using it.

One of the web’s most prominent konnakol teachers is not a South Asian classical vocalist, but Danish percussionist Henrik Andersen

For a solid introduction to konnakol and its many rhythms watch Henrik in action. Especially be sure to check out the Exercise in Adi Thala (Exercise in 8 beats) which starts at 3:12. (Take *that* T.H. Subash Chandaran!)

In class we to listen to “Konnakol Al Dente,” performed by Indian-descended British vocalist Sheila Chandra, and try a few of our own konnakol phrases.

More information:

A konnakol conversation | legendary guitarist John McLaughlin is way into konnakol: | a contemporary konnakol performed by Lori Cotler | You think konnakol is too hard for little kids? This 8 year old disagrees | By the, feeling overly cluttered lately? Sheila Chandracan help.

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