Writing for Tabla

Indian Drumming for Everyone!

Our exciting and revolutionary Indian drum notation system makes Indian percussion accessible to musicians from all backgrounds. Anyone with a basic knowledge of western notation can learn to play the Tabla drum by using our new Read & Play books and online support resources.

Composers can now write for Indian drums in new and exciting ways by specifying exactly what they require – whether it be a solo, band or orchestral piece.

Music teachers armed with our books can bring the beautiful sounds of Indian percussion to their classrooms and stages.

Percussionists can study playing techniques in our course books and then add the rich sounds of Indian drums to their kit.

We at Keda Music are committed to bringing the tabla and other Indian drums into a more widely accessible and modern context.

Example Stave with notes

The notation system operates in a similar way to a regular two-line bongo stave. For Indian drums, each sound has its own unique notehead and position on the stave. The system applies to all Indian two-headed drums including Dholak, Mridangam, Dhol, Tavil and Pakhavaj.

Now included in Steinberg’s Score Writing Software

Dorico supports the Universal Indian Drum Notation system developed by Keda Music Ltd. Universal Indian Drum Notation can also be applied to other Indian drums with two heads, such as nagara, dhol, dholak, mridangam, and pakhawaj.

Tabla Touch to Dorico software to printed Sheet Music

A new world of possibilities…

Watch this video to hear Howard Goodall, the EMMY, BRIT and BAFTA award-winning composer of choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores, enthuse about the possibilities that our universal drum notation creates.

Learn how to use the tabla in your own compositions by using our notation and watching this video series How to Write for Tabla.

Or watch the complete How to Write for Tabla video (33mins) to learn how to use the tabla in your compositions.

  • An introduction to notation
  • The characteristics of the tabla
  • The sounds you can achieve
  • Tips on how to get the very best out of the instrument using notation
How to Write for Tabla

Indian Drum Clef by Keda Music Ltd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Use the clef to create your own drum compositions.

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