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Indian tabla, consisting of two drums, —James Blades
Pair of small drums, the principal percussion in Hindustani music of northern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The higher-pitched daya, played with the right hand, is a roughly cylindrical one-skinned drum, usually wooden, normally tuned to the raga's tonic. The baya, played with the left hand, is a deep kettledrum usually of copper; its pitch varies with pressure from the heel of the player's hand. A disk of black tuning paste on the membrane of each drum affects pitch and gives it characteristic overtones.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on tabla, visit Britannica.com.