1 comment / Posted on by Veysel Sala



Darbuka instrument has a history that goes all the way back to the Common Era in Egypt and comes in different shapes and sizes. It is also very common in Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Arabic countries and North Africa. It is widely played in Turkish Folk Music amongst other instruments or solo and has also come to known as an important instrument in the Turkish classical music lately. This joyful instrument has different names in different regions such as “dümbek,” “dümbelek”, “tömbek” but its original name “dümbelek” is actually an Arabic name which originally means “to strike”.

Darbuka instrument is a percussion instrument that has a goblet shape. It narrows in the middle and widens back at the other end. The head of the instrument is wider than the other end. The traditional darbuka instrument have sheep, goat and fish skin for the good quality sound although contemporary ones have chemical skin called “glass skin”. This prevents the darbuka from popping or tearing so that it has a longer life. The body of the traditional darbukas used be made of wrought copper but nowadays, casting technique is used for a better sound. Nacre coating can be used for ornamentation on some types.

Darbuka instrument is played while seated or with straps standing up. It is situated under the players arm with the head of the instrument pointed at the knees. It can also be played standing up in order to allow the player to dance or walk around while playing. The player can play it simply by using his/her hands. Although it has different styles and rhythms to it, it is fairly easy to play it. Thanks to its playful sound, it is widely used at the weddings or for entertainment purposes.

Turkish Darbuka

The body of the Turkish darbuka is made of iron or aluminum and synthetic skin is used for the head of the instrument. Multiple screws are situated on the head, around the skin for tuning. It is generally played with finger snaps or by tapping with fingertips. Although it varies in some types, general measurements are 22 cm in length and 29 cm in diameter. The traditional Turkish darbuka is made out of copper, and is either held under the arm or rests on the leg. Both hands are used to produce over 50 different sounds on the rim and head of the drum. Turkish darbuka is also a kind of percussion instrument used in weddings, engagements and circumcision weddings.



Egyptian Darbuka

The Egyptian style, Darbuka, is also known as Tabla and is very popular. Different from the Turkish styled darbuka, Egyptian darbuka has rounded edges and the tuning screws are not exposed. The body can be engraved or ornamented with nacre. While Egypt is said to be the haven for Darbukas, its neighbor, the Maghreb (Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco), especially Tunisia boasts of its smaller, clay and goatskin folk versions. This musical instrument is widely used for belly dancers. However, it is wise you know that the melody and the playing technique have to largely depend upon the dancing style, environment and more. Professional players know how to play this instrument using different techniques. 



Clay Darbuka

As it’s evident from its name, the body of this instrument is made of clay. Unlike the other two, instead of using synthetic skin, goat, sheep and fish skin is stretched over the head. Clay darbukas are formed when four basic elements of earth, water, fire and air are combined successfully. Clay and the animal skin gives the instrument more of a natural sound. It is also named solo darbuka since it’s mostly played solo. It is heavier than other types of darbukas because of its material and generally played on the knees. The clay darbuka form has initially been used in Arabic countries but with musical interactions it has also started gaining popularity among Turkish musicians since 1980s. The family of clay darbukas can be observed under three main categories named as “solo”, “sumbati” and “dehollo” from the smallest size to biggest.



You can find all types of darbuka instrument in our catalogue and darbuka related items. If you want to learn this instrument, master your craft or widen your percussion family, first place to start looking is our wide range of darbuka choices with fine workmanship.

1 comment

  • Posted on by rehman sheik

    hi i how can i purchase please and price for daburka

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