v9.1 now in the Apple App Store

See demo on YouTube     $19.99

Quick Links

  1. What’s New

  2. About the Tabla and Lehra Accompaniment

  3. iLehra Features

  4. iLehra Layout

  5. Recommended Usage

  6. iPad Version

  7. Minimum Device Requirements

  8. About the Developer

What’s New

Now Available: Now with native iPad interface! Version 9.1 with iOS 9 compatibility, Auto-Tuner, PRESETS, popup taal picker, TAP TEMPO, Santoor and more! Check out the YouTube demo or the audio sample below for the fantastic new sound. Note: All updates are always free!

And the reviews are in:


★★★★★ "Wow, lehra in my pocket!"

★★★★★ "Great concept, EXCELLENT execution"

★★★★★ "Fantastic, keep up the good work!"

★★★★★ "Simple yet pretty interface"

★★★★★ "Good natural sound"

About The Tabla and Lehra Accompaniment

The Tabla is a percussion instrument widely used in Indian Classical music both as a solo instrument and as an accompaniment to vocal or instrumental music. In recent times it has also gained acceptance in western and fusion music. It has two pieces - the left part or the "baya" provides the heavy bass while the right part or the "daya" provides the main percussion sound.

When played as a solo instrument, the tabla is accompanied (usually on the harmonium or sarangi) by a continuous cyclical musical phrase or riff called the "Lehra" or “Nagma” (ostinato in western music) that keeps track of the "aavartan" or rythmic cycle in the chosen "taal".

And now presenting - iLehra

iLehra is an electronic Lehra / Nagma player for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It provides accurate as well as pleasing lehra accompaniment for a wide variety of taals and raags on either the harmonium, violin, or the flute. Innovative features include beautiful tanpura auto-tuned to the chosen lehra/raag, presets, tap-tempo, metronome, and extremely intuitive controls.

NOTE: iLehra does not play tabla, it provides a melodic & rythmic accompaniment for tabla. It is intended for use as a time-keeping tool by tabla players for practice or concerts. For a tabla-playing app, see iTablaPro

Features include:

  1. Plays 109 Lehras in 55+ Raags for 25 Taals

  2. Taals included: Ada Chautaal(14), Basant Taal(9), Chartal-ki-Sawari(11), Chautaal(12), Dadra(6), Deepchandi(14), Dhamar(14), Ektaal(12), Farodust/Firdost(14), Ganesh Taal(21), Jhaptaal(10), Jhoomra(14), Keherva(8), Matta Taal(9), Pancham Sawari(15), Rudra Taal(11), Rupak(7), Sooltaal(10), Teentaal(16), as well as general lehras for 7.5, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 13, and 18 beats.

  3. Full octave of pitch adjustments from C through B

  4. Integrated Auto-Tuner: Auto-Tune iLehra to your tabla, or use it to tune other instruments (microphone capability required such as iPhone built-in mic or 2nd/3rd generation iPod Touch with external microphone)

  5. Beautiful, realistic lehras on Harmonium, Violin, Flute, or the Santoor!

  6. Extremely accurate tempo tested to within 1 milli-second

  7. Tap Tempo: just tap the beats on the bottom display and watch iLehra sync up!

  8. Presets: save your frequently-used combinations of pitch, taal, lehra, instrument & tempo as named presets. And now you can also export/import presets via email or  iTunes File Sharing.

  9. Background Play: Start playing the music and switch to another app (iOS4 only), or play along with iPod music

  10. Each lehra has three variations for slow, medium and fast tempos for more natural-sounding lehras

  11. Beautiful tanpura auto-tuned to pitch and raag of lehra

  12. Optional Metronome Click-track with different sounds for matras, taalis & khaalis

  13. Wide range of tempo from 15 to 500 bpm (bpm = beats per minute)

  14. Automatic range selection (vilambit, madhya, drut) based on tempo slider

  15. Extremely precise control of fine-tuning and tempo by clicking on the slider endpoints (- or +). Every click changes the tempo by 1 cent or 1 bpm

  16. x/2 & 2x buttons to quickly halve or double the tempo

  17. For even easier control, simply double-tap on the pitch or tempo slider to get a popup picker wheel

  18. Displays current matra being played

  19. Can be used with speakers, headset, or the internal speaker. A high-quality speaker dock is recommended for maximum effect.

The iLehra Layout

The application has the following tabs:

Main Tab: The main tab has two sections:

Top Section: This is common to the lehra and the tanpura and is used to set the "base" pitch of Sa.

  1. The two buttons tune the pitch up or down one note at a time

  2. The slider allows fine-tuning of the pitch within a two-note range

  3. Click on the endpoints of the slider ( or ) to further fine-tune the pitch by 1 cent (1/100th of a note)

  4. Hold down on the pitch slider endpoints for faster pitch adjustment

  5. Double-clicking on the slider brings up a fine-tune value picker wheel

  6. The display in the middle shows the current note name (i.e. C#) in the center, the octave on the upper right, and the current fine-tune relative value on the upper left. The color of the text in the display indicates whether the fine-tune slider is exactly in the middle (green), to the left of center (red), or to the right of center (cyan).

Bottom Section: The bottom section is used to pick the taal, the lehra and the tempo.

  1. Use the Taal left and right buttons to select the taal

  2. Use the Lehra/Raag left and right buttons to select a lehra

  3. Use the Instrument left and right buttons to select an instrument

  4. Use the Play/Stop button on the bottom left to turn the tanpura on or off

  5. Use the Play/Stop button on the bottom right to turn the lehra on or off

  6. Clicking on the i (info) button on the right of the matra display shows you the tabla bols of the currently chosen taal

  7. The tempo display at the bottom shows the current matra in the center, the tempo range on the bottom, the tempo in bpm on the upper right, and the division on the upper left

  8. The slider and the buttons around it let you control the tempo in a variety of ways:

  9. Move the slider to directly adjust the tempo

  10. Click on the tempo slider endpoints (- or +) to adjust the tempo by 1 bpm

  11. Hold down on the tempo slider endpoints for faster tempo adjustment

  12. The x/2 button halves the tempo, and the 2x button doubles it

  13. Hold down on the tempo display or double-click on the tempo slider to get a tempo picker wheel

  14. To use the Tap Tempo feature, simply start tapping the beat on the tempo display and watch the tempo match your tapping!

Presets Tab: The Presets tab lets you load presets, delete existing ones, or save new presets. iLehra ships with a few sample presets, but you can add your own as well as delete the existing ones at any time. A preset saves the current pitch, the taal, lehra, instrument and the tempo.

  1. To play a preset, simply choose the name from the list of saved presets

  2. To delete a preset, simply swipe your finger across the preset row and click on the Delete button, or click on the Action button on the top right and choose Delete Preset(s) to enter delete mode. Click on Done on the top left to exit from the delete mode.

  3. To create a new preset, first set the pitch, taal, lehra, instrument and tempo. Then click on the New Preset (+) icon on the top left. Enter a name for the preset when prompted, click OK and you're done!

  4. To update a preset, first choose the preset and make sure everything you want to include is playing (important!). Make any changes you need from the main tab, click on the action button on the top right and choose Update Preset.

  5. To email a preset, first select the preset, click on the action button on the top right and choose Email Selected Preset. To send the whole list of presets (or simply back them up) choose Email All Presets from the action menu. To import presets received via email, open the email on the device, click on the attachment, and choose Open in iLehra.

Backup/Restore Presets: You can use the iTunes File Sharing feature to access the iLehra Presets file:

  1. To play a preset, simply choose the name from the list of saved presets

  2. Open iTunes on your Mac/PC and connect your device.

  3. When the device appears in iTunes, click on it to select it.

  4. On the right, go to the Apps tab and scroll all the way down to the File Sharing area.

  5. Choose iLehra in the list of apps, you should now see the iLehraPresets file in the Documents area on the right.

  6. You can drag this file to your desktop to back it up.

  7. To restore the presets or copy them from another device, simply overwrite this file with a previously backed up file or a file backed up from another device. You can also share presets among devices this way.

WARNING: Do not manually edit the presets file or you may corrupt the presets. In case of error, you can restore the original presets from the Settings screen.

Tuner Tab: The Tuner tab lets you tune external instruments to iLehra, or vice-versa. NOTE: This requires an iPhone or an iPod Touch (2nd/3rd gen) with an external microphone connected to it.

  1. Click on the Stop button to stop all sound in app

  2. Sing or play an instrument (the desired "Sa") into the microphone

  3. The display on the left shows the current iLehra pitch

  4. The display on the right shows the pitch of the external instrument as measured via the microphone. The color of the text in the display indicates whether the external pitch is the same (green), lower (yellow), or higher (cyan).

  5. Use the Microphone display on the right to tune the instrument to match iLehra

  6. Or click on the Capture button to auto-tune iLehra to the external instrument - this makes the captured pitch the new "Sa"

Settings Tab: The Settings tab lets you change the application's global settings.

  1. Screen Saver Options: This controls the screen saver options:

  2. Lock Screen: This is the default iPhone behaviour where the screen auto-locks after a period of inactivity. You can control the auto-lock timeout period from the iPhone's main settings area. This option consumes the least battery.

  3. Dim Screen: This option disables screen lock and instead dims the screen after a few seconds of inactivity and displays a bigger version of the matra display. Click on the screen again to brighten it. This is the default setting and the recommended option.

  4. Stay On: This option disables the screen lock AND keeps the screen at its regular brightness (so in effect there is NO screen saver). This option consumes the most battery.

  5. Taal Ordering: This controls whether the display of the taals is ordered alphabetically or by the number of matras (beats) in the taal

  6. Sync-Play Tanpura: Turning this on automatically starts and stops the tanpura along with the lehra

  7. Lehra Volume: Adjusts the relative volume of the lehra - set it to zero if you just want the metronome

  8. Tanpura Volume: Adjusts the volume of the tanpura

  9. Click-Track: This allows you to turn the metronome click-track on or off, and adjust its volume

  10. Stop At Sam: Changes the behavior of the Lehra Stop button to stop on Sam (first beat) of next cycle

  11. Reset Settings to Defaults: Clicking on this button will reset all settings to the original factory defaults

Info Tab: The info (information) tab provides quick links to iLehra help, more information about the tabla and lehra,  and other useful information.

iPad Version

iLehra is a universal app - this means you buy it once and it works natively on the iPhone, the iPod Touch as well as the iPad. The iPad version has a similar layout except most of the major controls are accessible on one page. The Tuner, Settings and Info pages can be accessed via the toolbar buttons on the top right. And yes it works great on all iPad models! Click the picture below for a larger view.

Recommended Usage

  1. Turn on the tanpura by pressing the tanpura play button and tune the tabla or iLehra so they match

  2. Pick the taal, this changes the list of lehras available for that taal

  3. Choose the lehra from the list

  4. Set the tempo to your liking. Click on the plus/minus signs around the slider to fine-tune

  5. Start the lehra by pressing the lehra play button


  1. The Harmonium gives a better feel for the taal and is suitable for any tempo

  2. The violin & flute give a more "soft" feel but sound better, especially at slower tempos

  3. The lehra start/stop button also starts and stops the tanpura

  4. It is recommended to first turn on Airplane Mode on iPhones to reduce effects of background processes on the tempo

Device Requirements

iLehra will run great on any of the following devices:

  1. iPhone (4, 4S, 5, 5S or newer) with iOS 6.1 or later. Recommend iPhone 4S or later for compatibility with upcoming versions.

  2. iPod Touch (4th, 5th Generation or newer) with iOS 6.1 or later. Recommend 5th generation or later for compatibility with upcoming versions.

  3. iPad (iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Air or newer) with iOS 6.1 or later. Recommend iPad 3 or later for compatibility with upcoming versions.

For best effect, use a high-quality speaker dock with an internal rechargeable battery or any other good pair of external speakers.

About The Developer

Prasad Upasani is a professional musician, teacher and performer who also happens to be a talented programmer with over 25 years in IT. He has a Master's degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor's degree (Sangeet Visharad) in Indian Classical music. He lives in Southern California.

Feedback, questions or need support? Send an Email

Special thanks to Rupesh Kotecha for lehras, feedback, beta testing, and lots of encouragement!

Some lehras courtesy of Chandra and David Courtney

YouTube Demo

Click here to watch on YouTube.