The tablah (also known as darbukkah or dumbak) is a single-headed hand-drum found in most Arab music ensembles. The goblet-shaped body (cylindrical with a slightly narrowed waist) was traditionally made out of fired clay, and the sounding head out of goat, calf, or fish skin, stretched and glued permanently on the body.
Using both hands, an accomplished drummer can produce a great
variety of sounds: Usually, the right hand strikes the tablah at the center
of the skin to produce the dum (resonating lower tone) or the
slap (muted dum), or on the edge to produce the tak
(high, crisp tone). The fingers of the left hand strike close to
the circumference for the various fillers (such as ka and
pop). Syncopated rhythms and rolls are also
common. Since the mid 1980s, an instrument with plastic (mylar) head and a cast iron body
with modifiable skin tension has become the norm.
Video demonstration on the tablah by Vince Delgado