“Tabla: Indian Culture through Drumming: A Review”

By Andrew Reed

I attended the “Tabla: Indian Culture through Drumming” event on Wednesday October 28th to follow up my last article “Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum” and it did not disappoint.

I was greeted by Dr. Kihle at the doors of Voorhees Chapel on campus to a crowd of 6 or 7 students and a dozen more on Zoom. Dr. Kihle, being a percussion expert himself, had brought along with him plenty of different kinds of drums and even his own Tabla for students to try.

Dishant Thakkar, the keynote speaker, was projected on the large screen at the head of the chapel playing his own Tabla for all of us to hear for a couple of minutes before the actual event would begin. Thakkar was wonderful and it was amazing to see how many different sounds he could make with just two drums, which he would also explain how to do later.

Thakkar began the event by explaining who he was and the journey of his life that brought him to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he currently resides. We (the audience) then followed a presentation that Thakkar made on Indian culture, diversity, misconceptions and influence on the rest of the world. “It was cool to hear all this new information from somebody who has lived in both cultures (U.S. and Indian).”, said Benjamin Weaver, an attendee of the event, “I really enjoyed it.”

Thakkar finished his presentation with explaining the history, genres and parts of the Tabla drums. Then, the audience got a hands-on beginner’s lesson on how to play the Tabla drums. Thakkar walked the audience through a beginner song called Teen Taal which is meant for learning how to keep a rhythm on the drums.

Overall, I would call this event a success for the Look Beyond Committee with around 20 people in attendance on Zoom and in-person who experienced “Tabla: Indian Culture through Drumming.” I want to thank Dr. Kihle for letting me sit in and experience this event myself and I look forward to the next event put on by this Committee.

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