North Indian Tabla
Tabla, the classical drums of North India, were, and still are played in the temples. They spread to the royal courts and in the last 65 years to the concert stage where it has become the most popular drum in North India. Tabla accompanies instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers in both classical and folk styles and is also performed as a solo instrument. The higher pitched drum is called tabla. The lower pitched drum is called baya. The rhythm system in India is referred to as tala and is based on rhythmic cycles. There are over three hundred-fifty talas in the North Indian rhythmic system.
Tabla, perhaps the most lyrical of all hand drums, has an oral language all of its own. For every sound of the drum there is a corresponding syllable. These syllables are known as bols, and to the tabla master the onomatopoetic bols and the corresponding sounds on the drums are one and the same. Tabla players tend to think, eat, drink, and sleep bols, often to the chagrin of their families, friends and fellow musicians.
The tabla itself is a relatively young instrument - 475 years old and is a product of the interaction between Hindu and Muslim cultures. It derives from and has replaced in popularity the much older two headed drum, the pakhawaj.
The tabla batterie members: