Tabla: instrument description, composition, sound, history

Tabla: instrument description, composition, sound, history

Tabla is an ancient Indian musical instrument. Popular in Indian folk music.

What is tabla

Type – percussion instrument. Belongs to the class of idiophones.

The design consists of two drums that differ in size. The small hand is played with the main hand, which is called dayan, dahina, siddha or chattu. Production material – teak or rosewood. Carved in a single piece of wood. The drum is tuned to a specific note, usually the tonic, dominant, or subdominant of the player.

Tabla: instrument description, composition, sound, history

The big one is played with the second hand. It is called baian, duggi and dhama. The sound of dhama has a deep bass tone. Dhama can be made from any material. The most common options are made of brass. Copper instruments are the most durable and expensive.


Drums are mentioned in the Vedic scriptures. A percussion idiophone consisting of two or three small drums called “pushkara” was known in ancient India. According to a popular theory, the tabla was created by Amir Khosrow Dehlavi. Amir is an Indian musician who lived at the turn of the XNUMXth-XNUMXth centuries. Since then, the instrument has been entrenched in folk music.

Zakir Hussain is a popular contemporary composer who plays the oriental idiophone. In 2009, the Indian musician was awarded the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.

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