|Themes > Arts > Music > Musical Instruments > Musical Instruments of South Asia > Tavil|
Tavil is the main percussion instrument for the Nagaswaram. It is a double-headed
barrel-shaped drum which is hollowed out of a solid block of wood. On
both sides of the barrel are hoops fastened by interwoven leather straps.
Also attached to the hoops are two skins stretched to form the two heads. The pitch is adjusted by tightening the skin with the help of a leather band which passes round the middle of the barrel over the braces.
The right head is played with the fingers of the right hand capped with hardened rice paste caps whilst the left head is played with a thick stick. Rings made of the same material as the caps are also worn on the knuckles of the right hand. The right head is stretched tight but is not tuned to any particular pitch.