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by David Courtney working tools



Tabla is a pair of drums.  It consists of of a small right hand drum called dayan and a larger metal one called bayan.

The tabla has an interesting construction.  The dayan (right hand drum) is almost always made of wood.  The diameter at the membrane may run from just under five inches to over six inches.  The bayan (left hand drum) may be made of iron, aluminium, copper, steel, or clay; yet brass with a nickel or chrome plate is the most common material.  Undoubtedly the most striking characteristic of the tabla is the large black spot on each of the playing surfaces.  These black spots are a mixture of gum, soot, and iron filings.  Their function is to create the bell-like timbre that is characteristic of the instrument.

Although the origin of tabla is somewhat obscure, it is generally belived that it evolved from the barrel shaped drum called pakhawaj.  This was about three hundred years ago.

(Remember to check out "The Tabla Site" for more information.)



Selected Videos (Performances and Documentaries)

David Cortney - Program 1/10 - Tabla Tune - video Ernesto leon


Ustad Allah Rakha & Zakir Hussain Tabla Solo Teental


Ravi Shankar, Alla Rakha - Tabla Solo in Jhaptal


Tabla Rella, Pete Lockett


Zakir Hussain lecture and demonstration of tabla




Introduction to the Tabla - Part 1 - Bol and Gharana


Introduction to the Tabla - Part 2 - Parts of the Tabla and Tuning the Tabla


Introduction to the Tabla - Part 3 - Sitting and Hand Position


Rare Tabla Lessons from Pt.Kishore Banerjee




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© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 David and Chandrakantha Courtney

For comments, corrections, and suggestions, kindly contact David Courtney at david@chandrakantha.com