The tabla is the most commonly played drum set in North Indian music.
The general meaning of the term tabl is an instrument facing upwards, with a flat surface.
Scholars opine that the term table of the English language has been taken from the term tabll Some are also of the opinion that the term tabl is not an Arabic word in origin, but is borrowed from the Latin tabula.
Tabla in our catalogue As stated earlier, the tabla seems to have been in the beginning an instrument which suited the lighter variety of music and hence was very popular with the common people.
It, however, remained confined to folk music and to the simple music of the lower castes, till the beginning of the eighteenth century. For the accompaniment of khayal and its allied instruments like sitar and sarod, the need of a new percussion instrument was felt, which had the majesty of the pakhavaj yet could be played in a lighter manner as well.
The modern tabla has a highly developed technique of playing and in the hands of a master player it is capable of producing almost all the patterns of rhythms and cross-rhythms that a musician can conceive of.
The well-established time cycles are rendered in terms of drumming phrases called thekha or measured beat.
Gajra is made by joining four or five leather braces made of goat or cow skin.
Gajra is fixed to the mouth of the drum by means of leather braces called baddhi, made of buffalo skin.
These braces are tied to another ring at the bottom of the instrument.
There are sixteen holes or ghar to which the braces are tied at equal distance, giving the instrument an equal tension at all the points.