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Tabla is a pair of drums. It consists of a small right hand drum called dayan and a larger metal one called bayan.

The tabla has an interesting construction. The dayan (right hand drum) is almost always made of wood. The bayan (left hand drum) may be made of iron, aluminium, copper, steel, or clay; yet brass with a nickel or chrome plate is the most common material. Undoubtedly the most striking characteristic of the tabla is the large black spot on each of the playing surfaces. These black spots are a mixture of gum, soot, and iron filings. Their function is to create the bell-like timbre that is characteristic of the instrument.