tablah Introduction


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.
Most tablah-s are intricately decorated, some with wood, tile or bone inlay, etched metal, or paintings of geometric or other designs typically found in the Near East.

Tablah - Video demonstration

Video demonstration on the tablah by Vince Delgado