Darbuka

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The Darbuka


The darbuka or goblet drum has one head on a goblet shaped body and is very popular in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and Eastern Europe. The darbuka drum can be played under the arm or resting on the player's leg, using a light touch with the fingertips and palm to produce the sounds. 

There are three main sounds produced by the darbuka:
  • The "doum" - produces a a deep bass sound. Generated by hitting the head near the centre with the length of the fingers and palm; remove the hand to create an "open" sound. 
  • The "tek" - produces a higher-pitched sound. Generated by striking at the edge of the head with the fingertips. A second 'tek' strike with the other hand is called a "ka". 
  • The 'pa' - strike and immediately rest the hand on the head to deaden the sound
Of course there are more complex strikes for the darbuka but the above provide the basics. 

An alternative technique adopted for the darbuka in countries such as; Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, and Turkey, is to tap with the fingers with one hand whilst using a çubuk (thin stick) with the other.