Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tabla - Twin-Drum Instrument of Indian Classical Music

Dr. Aarohi Ambardekar is a respected Lanham, Maryland-based anesthesiologist who practices at Southern Maryland Anesthesia Associates, LLC. With a passion for music, he enjoys pop artists from Modest Mouse to U2. Dr. Aarohi Ambardekar also plays the tabla, an Indian percussive instrument.

Common to North Indian classical music, the tabla is a versatile two-drum combination that has spread to a number of popular music styles. According to legend, the instrument was created in the 18th century, when an angered musician in a drum competition sliced a single-barreled drum in two with a sword. The tabla came into its own with Amir Khusru, who developed a fast, nimble style suited to a new Khayal musical genre. This style is still foundational to modern Indian classical musical renditions.

Learning the tabla has traditionally occurred through a guru-disciple apprenticeship system. This relationship would last many years and end with a ceremony at a Hindu temple, where the teacher passed on ancient, guarded family compositions.