Tabla instruments are a pair of handheld drums that are popular in Indian culture. These twin drums have been around since the 18th century. Tabla drums remain the most popular percussion instrument and are primarily played in Hindustani classical music.
Indian culture reports the name “Tabla” likely comes from the word tabl, which is the Arabic word for drum. Although these drums are called twin drums, they are actually very different from one another.
One drum is slightly larger than the other and shaped differently. The smaller drum, which is called the Dayan, creates the treble and tonal sounds. The main function of the larger drum, called the Baya, is producing bass.
Both of these drums are made of clay, hollowed wood, or metal. These drums have wooden dowels on the sides and are laced with hooks and thongs. You use the dowels to tighten the drum membranes for tuning.
I hope to answer some of the questions you may have about the Tabla instrument. These fascinating drums may seem simple, but their complexity may surprise you. Hopefully, you will learn a thing or two about the Tabla and determine if you want to pick up this instrument to add to your collection.