Famous Tabla Players

Famous Tabla Players

On this page, I have listed many famous tabla masters. The "tabla طبلا" (not to be confused with the Arabic "tablah طبله" which is a generic term for a drum) is a pair of drums. It consists of a small right-hand drum called "dayan" which literally means right and a larger metal one called "bayan" which literally means left.

Undoubtedly, the most striking characteristic of the tabla is the large black spot (called "siyahi سیاهی") on each of the playing surfaces. The "siyahi" is a mixture of gum, soot, and iron filings. Its function is to create the bell-like timbre that is a characteristic of the instrument. Note that the term "siyah سیاه" is a Persian word that means black.

The invention of sitar, tabla, and many other things is attributed to "Amir Khosro Dehlavi امیرخسرو دهلوی" who was a musician and Persian-speaking poet. There is a tendency among Indians to attribute the development of almost everything to him. However, it is unfortunate that the history of the beginning of tabla is still in dispute. On this page, some famous tabla players are listed as follows:

Ustad Zakir Hussain on the tabla

Pictured: Zakir Hussein

  • AhmedJan Thirakwa

  • Bapu Patwardhan

  • Shankar Ghosh

  • Bickram Ghosh

  • Tanmoy Bose

  • Kadar Khan

  • Samta Prasad

  • Suresh Talwalkar

  • Trilok Gurtu

  • Samir Chatterjee

  • Shaukat Hussain Khan

Pandit Mahapurush Mishra on the Tabla

Pictured: Mahapurush Mishra

  • Chatur Lal

  • Charanjit Chatur Lal

  • Mahapurush Mishra

  • Kumar Bose

  • Swapan Chaudhuri

  • Nayan Ghosh

  • Anindo Chatterjee

  • Divyang Vakil

  • Taranath Rao

  • Shafaat Ahmed Khan

  • Kanthe Maharaj

Pandit Nayan Ghosh on the tabla

Pictured: Nayan Ghosh

  • Alla Rakha Khan

  • Zakir Hussain

  • Anokhelal Mishra

  • Hamid Hussain

  • Kishen Maharaj

  • Talvin Singh

  • Aloke Dutta

  • Tafo Khan

  • Aneesh Pradhan

  • Sharda Sahai

  • Tari Khan

Smt. Sunayana Ghosh on the tabla

Pictured: Sunayana Ghosh

  • Anuradha Pal

  • Sunayana Ghosh

  • Reshma Pandit

  • Rimpa Siva

  • Karamatullah Khan

  • Shaik Davood Khan

  • Shabbir Nasir

  • David Courtney

  • Vijay Ghate

  • Yogesh Samsi

Tabla solo by Pandit Kumar Bose

Tabla solo by Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri