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August 25, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

We are proud to present the first of our World Music Workshop Series this autumn with eminent percussionist Suresh Vaidyanathan from Chennai, India; organised by the International School of Music Finland in cooperation with the Embassy of India, the International School of Helsinki and the Global Music Centre.


Indian Classical Music is predominantly an oral traditional with students listening, imitating and then committing the syllabus to memory.

Konnakol is the recitation of solkattu – the vocal syllables, related to the sounds of the Mridangam (the primary percussion drum of South India) and is also used as a vocal reference for all South Indian (Karnatic) percussion instruments providing the basis for understanding the rhythmic complexities of the Karnatic tradition. Konnakol is the medium used for giving teaching instructions in percussion lessons, vocally. The student then repeats the syllables, both in Konnakol and on the drum.

Apart from being an instruction language, Konnakol is a recognised art form of principle study and has its own position within the percussion section of the Karnatic ensemble, over the last 100 years Musicians communicate rhythmic ideas to each other using Konnakol and they also use the vocal patterns to practice ideas whilst clapping the talam with their hands. It is proven for more than a century that the vocal percussion sans instrument ‘Konnakol’ as an artform can demonstrate with great strength, elegance and timbre variation, the intense beauty of Laya (rhythm).

Infusing melody into Konnakol is what Suresh Vaidyanathan is exploring as a possibility to adapt konnakol into other genres of music like the jazz and fusion. Solkattu will be recited as a song with modulations suitable to its form giving the composition a fresh singalong feel.

The Workshop aims to share the knowledge of Solkattu in the participants and make them perform Konnakol as a solo and in ensemble keeping the Tala, the time measure through clapping and counting. Structure of Tala, its execution, various syllables of solkattu, forming the konnakol patterns with the syllables, developing grooves, cadences, and compositions of geometric shapes will be taught. Participants will be encouraged to come out with creative patterns of konnakol. EKA ANEKA, a composition glorifying the konnakol set to melody will be taught to the participants in the second half of the Workshop.

Vocalists, instrumentalists, drummers and percussion players of any age and seniority can participate. Exclusive Nursery Rhyme compositions in Konnakol will be taught to the kids and very young performers!


  • Overview of the Art of Konnakol, origin and development
  • Main Elements of Konnakol: Solkattu Syllables, pronunciation, modulations and patterns
  • Talam – The time measure or the temporal platform for the Konnakol percussion
  • Compositions
  • Ensemble practice (Indian musicians join the participants of workshop to perform the piece, EKA ANEKA)

Date: Sat 25.8.2018
Time: 14:00 – 17:00
Location: International School of Helsinki (cafeteria), Selkämerenkatu 11, 00180 Helsinki
Price: Free of charge, enrolment required. Please, use the online registration form.

For all enquiries please contact Camilo Pajuelo and remember to sign up in advance!
For more information visit ISM on Facebook.


August 25, 2018
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


International School of Helsinki
Selkämerekatu 11
Helsinki, Finland