About Tabla

The Tabla is one of the most important parts of classical music renditions in India. Its origins are shrouded in mystery though the most often quoted myth is that it was created by Amir Khusrau, the famed poet of the 13th century by dividing a Dholak or Mrindangam into two parts.  Simply explained, the Tabla is a pair of hand drums made in contrasting timbre and size. The tabalchi who plays the Tabla uses his deft fingers to bring forth a range of rhythms from the Tabla and the instrument is the preferred accompaniment to vocal recitals or instrumental presentations. The larger drum of the Tabla is called the ‘bayan’ which literally means left and has a deeper bass tone. The smaller drum that is placed on the right of the tabalchi’s side is called the ‘dayan’ and is specially tuned to complement the melody. Both drums are covered with cow or goat skin and a string around the drums is used to create tension on the shell of the drum. Each drum is lined with an inner called the ‘syahi’ and it is this feature that lends a special tonal quality to the Tabla that differentiates it from other drums. The Tabla tradition is classified into the Delhi, Lucknow, Farukhabad, Lucknow, Benares, Punjab and Ajrara gharanas (traditions), each borrowing the nomenclatures from the regions it is constructed and played in.


Tabla Photos

Tabla Video

Tabla Album