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Indian Rhythmic Cycles
The concept of the ever-recurring cyclic rhythms of the universe is one of the basic tenets of Hindu philosophy.
The perception of the cyclic nature of life is reflected in Indian classical music through the device of tala, a recurring time-measure or rhythmic cycle. Just as in the Hindu religion, man is born, lives his life, dies and is then reincarnated to begin a new life, so the tala cycle begins, develops and then returns to the sam, the first beat of the cycle, anchor of all melody and rhythm and the leading beat to which all returns.