Definition of tabla in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtʌblə//ˈtablə/


  • A pair of small hand drums used in Indian music, one of which is slightly larger than the other and is played using pressure from the heel of the hand to vary the pitch.

    • ‘While he hums a song with his nose, he produces the sound of musical instruments like tabla, tango and drum through his mouth.’
    • ‘Thus, when you mix the hypnotic qualities of dance music with the mystical range of Indian tablas, you open up the doors for interesting experimentation.’
    • ‘At this time she also took lessons for the traditional Indian instruments, tablas and harmonium.’
    • ‘His production incorporates a refreshing use of musicality and a wide array of East Indian arrangements, tablas and percussion.’
    • ‘Even now his concerts are done only with a tabla and a harmonium.’
    • ‘Then the music began with family members taking turns to accompany the musicians with tablas and cymbals.’
    • ‘The most common instruments are the harmonium, the tabla, and the sitar.’
    • ‘An intriguing midway bridge of tabla and shimmering guitars is the song's highlight.’
    • ‘Their voices are modulated and trailed by a mournful accordion and occasional tablas.’
    • ‘They are at home with all kinds of instruments - keyboard, guitar, flute, tabla, drums.’
    • ‘He is great with musical instruments too, adept at playing the synth and the tabla.’
    • ‘The tabla rests on the pillow, and is drummed with the fingers and palms.’
    • ‘Musically there's a lot to digest here: African flutes, Spanish guitars and the shimmer of tablas and Balkan violins.’
    • ‘By then I had been studying vocal music and the tabla for 8-9 years.’
    • ‘Centering much of their music around tabla and sitar, these guys are obsessed with everything trippy.’


From Persian and Urdu tablah, Hindi tablā, from Arabic ṭabl ‘drum’.