Origin of word ‘Tabla’ from the ancient Indian language: Sanskrit
Binod Bihari Rout
Tabla is one of the most important percussion instruments in the world of Indian music. However, there are not many solid pieces of evidence or facts regarding the origin of Tabla. It is still unclear by whom or when was Tabla invented. But from the perspective of languages, it is quite clear that the word ‘Tabla’ has strong roots in Sanskrit, which had later migrated to different parts of the world and was known by different names. According to many historians and scholars, Sanskrit is strongly related to many foreign languages across the world directly or indirectly, mainly Indo-European languages, which is apparent in many of their similar-sounding words. Between different sections of Indo-Europeans, there is also a similarity in the languages with slight differences. Their ancestors, having been traced back to have originated from a single place, spoke only one language. Even when we travel a significant distance, we can observe a change in the dialect of the local language. Hence, it is the opinion of historians that Sanskrit has indirect relations with many other foreign languages. ‘Tabl’ word is an original word found in Sanskrit. Thus, it is quite normal that many variations of the word might be found in many other languages. This is a piece of strong evidence against the motion that Tabla did not originate from India, and rather strengthens the roots of the instrument in the history of Indian music and culture.