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

Pandit Mahapurush Mishra on the Tabla

Pictured: Mahapurush Mishra

Pandit Nayan Ghosh on the tabla

Pictured: Nayan Ghosh

Smt. Sunayana Ghosh on the tabla

Pictured: Sunayana Ghosh

Tabla solo by Pandit Kumar Bose

Tabla solo by Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri

For more, see my notes on the tabla: