Tabla

Tabla

Tabla is a drum set consisting of 2 drums. The one on the right side of the percussionist (also known as “Tabla Nawaz”) is called “Daya” or “Tabla” and the one on the left is called “Baya” or “Dagga”. The “Daya” is a cylindrical wooden drum about 9-10 inches tall with a head diameter of about 6 inches. The Dagga is a metal drum, about 10 inches high and has a head diameter of about 10 inches. The heads of both the Daya and Baya are multi layered goatskin called “Puddi”. Near the center of the head is a black circle called “Siyahi”, which is made of rice, glue, graphite, and iron fillings. The Daya is used to “keep the time” while the “Baya” is used more for special effects.

During a vocal performance, the Daya is tuned to match the base note, i.e. the “Sa” of the Madhya Saptak. The sound of “Na” produced by using the right hand on the Tabla is used to determine if the Tabla matches the base note “Sa”.

A Tabla Nawaz produces certain sounds called “Bols” by using his right and left hand fingers with the Daya and the Baya. For some “Bols” only the Daya is used. For example, for producing “Na” or “Ta” only the Daya is used. Whereas for “Dha” or “Dhin”, both the Daya and Baya are used.