TablaTabla – A magical drum of India

September 13, 2021by admin0

The tabla is a Hindu collapse instrument widely used in Indian devotional and meditative music. It includes a pair of drums, the smaller, higher-pitched right (daya), and the larger, deeper-sounding left (baya). Tabla is perfect for practicing without bugging the neighbors or fetching up large spaces.   Tabla is a percussion instrument made of metal,...

The tabla is a Hindu collapse instrument widely used in Indian devotional and meditative music. It includes a pair of drums, the smaller, higher-pitched right (daya), and the larger, deeper-sounding left (baya). Tabla is perfect for practicing without bugging the neighbors or fetching up large spaces.

 

Tabla is a percussion instrument made of metal, wood, aluminum, brass, steel, cloth, clay, copper, rice, wheat, plant fiber, iron, nickel, gum, soot, charcoal powder, goatskin, buffalo skin, leather, and glue. 

 

This is a classic instrument that is initiated in various parts of North India. It is a basic rhythmic match to solo and instrumental music items and also a solo performance instrument.

 

Tabla comes from the Arabic word tabla, meaning an instrument facing upwards, with a flat surface or drum. 

 

It is accepted that tabla was made up by Amir Khusro, a Sufi poet and musician of the 13th century patronized by Sultan Alauddin Khalji. Khusro trims the pakhawaj into two parts to make up tabla.

 

Tabla has a hard-playing technique. It needs extensive use of fingers and palms which generates a wide variety of various sounds and rhythms called mnemonic syllables. It is performed in two ways- band bol and khula bol.

 

Tabla is used in various forms of music- classical music, qawali, bhajan, kirtan, ghazal, folk music, etc.

 

The playing surface of both the drums is made from goatskin, tight over the top. A small membrane on the periphery on top of the large membrane is called Kinara or Chanti. 

 

The parchment called pudi or chhavani is laced to a plaited strip called ‘gajra’ made from four or five leather braces. Gajra is set to the mouth of the drum through leather braces called ‘baddhi’, which is laced to another ring at the bottom of the tabla. 

 

There are sixteen holes or ‘ghar’ to which the braces are placed at the same distance. In the right drum, there are eight tune-up blocks or ‘gatta’ which come up or down to vary the tension of the pudi. 

 

A black paste charged in layers on the parchment, called syahi. Significant rhythmic support to solo and instrumental music items as well as a solo performance instrument.

 

Both drums are put on ring-shaped holders made from plant fiber wrapped with cloth, to balance them while performing. The tabla is put in a slant place away from the players’ body, during playing. 

 

The range of tunes relies on the size of the Dayan. Common tunes can be composed by striking a small hammer on the gajra. Dayan is tuned to the root note (Sa), on which the playing is based.

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