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date: 18 November 2019

Tāsa [tasa, tāśā, tasha] (Arabic; pl. tāsāt)locked

  • Geneviève Dournon,
  • Margaret J. Kartomi
  •  and Peter Manuel


[tasa, tāśā, tasha] (Arabic; pl. tāsāt)

Small Kettledrum of pre-Islamic times; the name probably derives from Persian. Cognate instruments have spread to North India and Indonesia.

The tāśā or tasha is widespread in North India. A goatskin or, nowadays, synthetic head is stretched over a clay or metal bowl, about 36 cm in diameter. The instrument hangs from a strap around the player’s neck in front of the body and the head is struck with two thin bamboo sticks. One or more tāśā drums typically play together with a ḍhol bass drum, often supplemented by brass cymbals or a metal shaker. Tāśā-ḍhol ensembles of three to five players are common in street processions associated with weddings, political rallies, or Muslim Muharram commemorations. In Maharashtra, ensembles of several dozen drummers compete in festivities honoring the deity Ganesh. Tāśā drummers are often amateurs or specialists in other drum traditions. Brought by indentured workers to the Caribbean in the 19th century, ...

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