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Definition of TABLA
: a pair of small different-sized hand drums used especially in music of India
Illustration of TABLA
Origin of TABLA
Hindi & Urdu tablā, from Arabic ṭabla
First Known Use: 1865
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.