|This article is only an intoduction. If you would like more information please check out "Manufacture and Repair of Tabla"|
THE TABLA PUDI (page 4 of 4)
This article previously appeared in the December 1988 issue of Experimental Musical Instruments, Nicasio Ca:EMI pg.12-16
Two long pieces of buffalo hide are used for the weaving. Each thong (tasma) is first soaked in water, then lightly covered with oil. The two thongs are inserted into three adjacent holes up to their midpoints (figure 5a), thereby making four loose ends.
There must be a central core around which the gajara is woven. This is made by taking two or three lengths of inferior quality leather thong and wrapping them around the rim. The gajara is started in the following manner:
The gajara is now started. Continue weaving in the following manner (figure 6a).
Eventually the weaving must be finished. The weaving will end in the following fashion:
The gajara is nearly complete at this point. The only remaining step is to weave the bunad. Many craftsmen eliminate the bunad entirely. The weaving of the bunad goes as follows (figure 6b):
This alternating back and forth proceeds until all of the gajara is done. Upon completion of the bunad, the gajara is finished.
As mentioned earlier, the gajara the function of transferring the tension from the lacing to the maidan. However it does so in a manner which is considerably more refined than the hoop found in Western drums. Unlike Western drums the gajara has a buffering effect upon this tension. This buffering is important because very little variation in tension is tolerated by the tabla. This low tolerance is a natural consequence of the requirement for precise tunability. An interesting feature of this buffering effect is that changing the tension on the lacing functions as a "course tuning" while lightly hitting the gajara with a small hammer acts as the "fine tuning". In practice the majority of the tuning is done without any change in the tension of the lacing at all.
The gajara also performs the necessary but mundane function of joining all three levels of skin (i.e., bharti, maidan, and chat) together.
The pudi is now removed from the shell and the bharti is trimmed. It is trimmed by taking a flat piece of bamboo and slipping it between the maidan and bharti. The bamboo piece is used to shield the maidan from the blade. The bharti is trimmed so that there is an even 1/2 inch projecting into the middle of the pudi.
The function of the bharti appears to be primarily mechanical in nature. The bharti reinforces the maidan and keeps it from tearing under high tension.
The pudi must now be mounted. This mounting process is beyond the scope of this article.
© 1998 - 2017 David and Chandrakantha Courtney
For comments, corrections, and suggestions, kindly contact David Courtney at [email protected]