Jagannatha Svami Nayanapathagami Bhavatu Me

Jagannatha, Lord of the universe, in His Form in the great 10th century temple at Puri, Orissa, India

The ubiquitous Tabla is one of the iconic instruments of Indian music, whether "classical" or "light". Contrary to popular belief, it was not invented by splitting a Pakhavaj into two and resting the membranes face up. In reality, the Tabla is a very ancient set of instruments. In ancient times it used to be played by certain tribal people and certain classes of people like the "Dom", who were people whose task it was to cremate dead bodies. As such, the Tabla entered the world of Indian art music rather late in the day. It was used to accompany the Khayal and the Pakhavaj was the instrument to accompany the more "noble" Dhrupad. Although the Khyal is an old form of vocal music, it was the Dhrupad that dominated the art music world until as late as the 1850s and later. Only when the Khayal began to upstage the Dhrupad as the main and representative form of vocal art music did the Tabla begin to come into its own. Today, Tabla playing is a great art, producing tremendous virtuosity. There are many schools of Tabla playing and it is a completely formalised subject in its own right.