Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Parts of a Tabla

"Tabla is the most common drum in India," according to author David Courtney. It's an instrument that is found in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the U.S. The music of India has been passed down in apprenticeship style and slowly developed over the course of more than 200 years. For any serious instrumentalist who wants to learn the tabla, he or she first must become accustomed to drum's individual parts. Without this knowledge, it is difficult for teacher and student to discuss playing techniques.

Pudi

This is the top of the tabla and functions as the drumhead. The performer strikes it with his or her hand to produce sound. The pudi also traditionally is made from the hide of a deer.

Tasma

The straps that come off the pudi are known as the tasma. The straps generally are made of leather and their main function is to keep the pudi secure.

Gatta

The dowels found on the side of a tabla are referred to as gatta. Gatta measure 7-by-3 centimeters and are a cylindrical shape, according to Sirishkumar.com. These dowels are used to tune the instrument by increasing and decreasing tension.

Lakadi

The lakadi is a wooden shell that swirls around the tabla. It helps give the instrument some of its characteristic sounds.

Pital

This is similar to the lakadi, except it appears high up on the instrument and is made of brass. This shell creates additional resonance within the instrument.

Kundal

This is a hoop that stretches along the exterior of the tabla. It helps keep the tasma in place and aids in holding the instrument together.