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Tabla Drums of India

Tabla is the name of the most popular drums of modern India.Tabla drums Tabla is a  pair of drums played with the fingers while seated on the floor. The “Dhaya” or right-hand drum is made of hollowed out wood, and the “Bhaya” or left-hand drum is shaped of rounded hollow metal in the shape of a kettle. Both are spread with tanned leather hide tops and have a “shahi” or circle of black iron filings mixed with paste to form a resonating pad on each drum head. The sounds made by the strokes of the various fingers and Parvati Tuning Tablacombinations of fingers and palms are known as “bols” and can be spoken like instructions for the drummer to follow.

 The instrument is popular played in a solo performance as well as played in accompaniment to a lyrical or melodic performance. It can make so many different sounds, it is known as  the “talking drum".

Pt. Charanjit Chaturlal is one of the foremost exponents of tabla in India today. In addition to teaching many students in the USA and other countries in his earlier years, he has taught students in America for annual month-long sessions in 2001 - 2005. He is a regular visiting professor at Ganesh Academy of Indian Arts.

Photo by: Marcelina Martin 2003