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in the music of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, a metric cycle with a specific number of beats-from 3 to 128-that recur in the same pattern throughout a musical performance. Tala might generally be equated with rhythm or metre, although the tala procedure has no precise counterpart in Western music. The concept of tala is found in rather different forms in northern (Hindustani) and southern (Carnatic) Indian music. In the north, beats appear in groups of two, three, or four and include strong as well as "empty" beats. The character of the beats and their subdivisions is represented by rhythmic syllables that are recited for practice and sometimes in performance; these syllables correspond to various types of strokes with the finger on the appropriate drum. Southern Indian talas consist of units of one (anudrutam), two (drutam), and three to seven (laghu) beats