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pbercker

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Reply with quote  #1 
The EARLIEST iconography of the tabla, a.k.a. the "tubla"

I hope no one minds, but this deserves its own thread. I've been looking for this for a very long time. Here are the 3 earliest known depictions of what is essentially very nearly the modern tabla:

This one is dated 1808:
tabla - les hindous - section II - 8 - 6.gif But there's an earlier one still ... dated 1799 ...
another tabla -  Orme160.gif But this turns out to be a "fake", in the style of Solvyns. The genuine original is this one:
tubla - 1799 - Calcutta160.gif The entire collection turns out to be online here:

http://www.laits.utexas.edu/solvyns-project/solvynsonline/pages/Solvyns-Etchings.htm

A Collection of Two Hundred and Fifty Coloured Etchings: Descriptive of the Manners, Customs and Dresses of the Hindoos. Calcutta, 1796, 1799.

The Costume of Indostan [pirated edition]. London: Edward Orme [1804-05], 1807. [60 engravings after Solvyns's Calcutta etchings]
Les Hindo


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My opinion given without any warranties, expressed or implied, that it's even relevant. It would be folly to rely on my opinion without seeking more professional tabla advice. If you are suffering from a tabla condition, seek immediate attention.
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Aadil

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Reply with quote  #2 
Very cool!

Interestingly, the dayan dosent sport a gaddi in any of these paintings. The guy in the 3rd painting seems to be inclining the dayan and resting it on his foot.

The absence of accessories also prompts the question, what did they use before Johnson's baby powder came long?
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pbercker

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aadil"
Very cool!

Interestingly, the dayan dosent sport a gaddi in any of these paintings. The guy in the 3rd painting seems to be inclining the dayan and resting it on his foot.

The absence of accessories also prompts the question, what did they use before Johnson's baby powder came long?
I can't find the reference at the moment, but I believe that in his book "Tabla of Lucknow", prof. Kippen says that according to the late Ustad Afaq Hussain Khan, the gaddi (or also "gudi", the cushion rings) is quite recent addition, sometime around the 1920s or 1930s. (but I need to verify this to be sure, so don't quote me on that!). It's possible that the dayan was fairly stable leaning angled like that (and possibly resting on his foot as you suggested) since dayans were much bigger back then, typically 6 or 7 inches across, and therefore quite heavy.

About the baby powder, they may not have needed it, at least for the bayan, since (if I remember correctly) the "sliding" technique was probably added in the very late 1800s, and quite possibly early 1900s (again, don't quote me on this yet, since at the moment I just have a vague impression that I read something to that effect recently).

post-script: I found the reference; it's in Kippen's book "The Tabla of Lucknow]It's interesting to notice that the middle picture is in fact a fake in that it was not done by Solvyns, but by someone else who used the bottom picture as a guide, but clearly did not much care about the details, since the dayan, for example,is missing the gatte (the wodden blocks) and the player is just floating in abstract space instead of being in an actual room, with things in the room. I can't help but notice that both in the first painting and the third painting, Solvyns uses the same motif of a musician going up the stairs with some sort of stringed instrument.




pb


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My opinion given without any warranties, expressed or implied, that it's even relevant. It would be folly to rely on my opinion without seeking more professional tabla advice. If you are suffering from a tabla condition, seek immediate attention.
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pbercker

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Reply with quote  #4 
This is an interesting picture that related to the point above about the "gudi" (the cushions). Clearly the Bayan has some sort of cushion, but unfortunately the picture is cut-off at the base of the dayan, but the way that it leans looks to me like it might not be supported by a cushion, but it's hard to tell. Notice by the way how small the bayan is in relation to the dayan.
nautch_girl_circa1900 - note the tabla.jpg There is a larger picture of the tabla player here:

http://chandrakantha.com/articles/tawaif/7_n_Indian_music.html

The picture above is on David Courtney's website here:

http://chandrakantha.com/articles/tawaif/2_tawaifs.html

It's part of a larger article entitled:
Quote:
THE TAWAIF, THE ANTI - NAUTCH MOVEMENT, AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF NORTH INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC:
This is well worth reading since it's quite relevant to the history and evolution of the tabla, and the tabla repertoire. But in case you can't get around to reading the entire article, David has provided a succinct summary:
Quote:
SUMMARY OF TOPICS COVERED EARLIER
The tawaifs were an Indian equivalent of the Japanese geisha. At the end of the 19th century there was a British inspired persecution of dancing girls. This persecution included the tawaif. However for there to be an effective persecution, there had to be both a will as well as the means to carry it out. The will was provided by a combination of Victorian moralistic and political considerations. The means was provided by the British consolidation of their control over the Indian subcontinent. The persecutions started in the South and were initially directed at the temple girls, however they quickly spread to the North where the tawaifs became the targets. During these persecutions, there were serious questions whether the art-forms that the tawaifs specialised in would survive. As it turned out these arts were embraced by the Indian middle class as part of a cultural renaissance that was sweeping India in the early 20th century. The art-forms that were under the most pressure during the anti-nautch movement were the kathak dance, and the dadra and thumree styles of singing.


pb


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My opinion given without any warranties, expressed or implied, that it's even relevant. It would be folly to rely on my opinion without seeking more professional tabla advice. If you are suffering from a tabla condition, seek immediate attention.
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pbercker

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Posts: 1,451
Reply with quote  #5 
In my continuing obsession with the history and evolution of the tabla, I chanced on this website

The Future of tabla design: Transtabla

http://nadabrahma.co.uk/the-future-of-tabla-design-transtabla/

The transtabla was much discussed many months ago, but what grabbed my attention was this marvelous 1920 picture:
abid hussain khan and hirubabu ganguly.JPG The young and future Pandit Hirendra Kumar Ganguly (1905-1993) on the left, and his guruji on the right, Khalifa Abid Hussain Khan (1867-1936) of Lucknow.

What a stunning contrast between the two bayans! The picture nicely captures the contrast of the old and the new, and nicely captures how it is typically the young who quickly adopt - and adapt - to new things!

(On a side note: I can't quite tell just what Ustad Abid Hussain Khan's dayan is resting on ... is there a cushion there??)


pb


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My opinion given without any warranties, expressed or implied, that it's even relevant. It would be folly to rely on my opinion without seeking more professional tabla advice. If you are suffering from a tabla condition, seek immediate attention.
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pbercker

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Posts: 1,451
Reply with quote  #6 
THE GLASS TABLA !!

http://www.classicaltabla.com/glasstabla

Quote:
These glass tablas can be played like normal tablas sitting in the ring cushion, or due to their shortness, can be played in your lap as a
second drum while performing with the normal tabla / dugga. Many percussionists mount them on snare stands in a percussion
set-up.
And possibly putting to rest a persistent myth:
Quote:
Most people put way to much stock in the weight and density of the wood as far as the quality of the sound of a tabla goes. After
spending months with tabla makers all over India, I have found that 95% of the sound come from the puddi or "head". It is
proven by these two glass drums. The higher pitched one is very thick at about 3/4 of an inch. The smaller but deeper one is only
about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch. This "weight" myth has been propogated for hundreds of years and will likely never die down. I have
plenty of very light wooden drums that sound absolutely wonderful with a meticulously crafted "tuned" puddi. You can judge for
yourself by hearing these drums on this page or by hearing two others on the myspace site.


PB

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My opinion given without any warranties, expressed or implied, that it's even relevant. It would be folly to rely on my opinion without seeking more professional tabla advice. If you are suffering from a tabla condition, seek immediate attention.
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LotusMonster

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Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #7 
Surprisingly, however, the interior of the wooden shell makes a difference in how the pudi will be manufactured. If you take a pudi made on a tabla with a smooth interior and then place it on one with a chiseled interior, it will not have the same voice (and vice versa). A good tablawala can adjust the pudi to fit the new resonator, specifically, he will have to change the gab - either replace it entirely or scrape off a substantial amount and re-apply.
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