It is interesting to talk about the history of musical instruments. One of them is Darbuka. Rarely do people hear about this instrument. Not many people know that the darbuka is one of the most ancient instruments in the world. Having been around for thousands of years, darbuka has been used initially in Mesopotamia, which is a historical region of Western Asia, around the Tigris-Euphrates river. It was well known to be used by Sumerians & Babylonians and spread over the ancient Egyptian culture. It is the region where the oldest center of civilization ever existed.
The Darbuka shape is like a trophy, also called a goblet drum due to the shape, with a single membrane head. It produces a typical resonant sound, played with fingertips and palms. There are many techniques to make different drumhead sounds on darbuka, usually with the speed of fingers strike on the head, hand-clapping, and even beating the drumhead sides for additional sounds.
Firstly made for music in cultural ceremony and traditional ritual, nowadays darbuka has been used for various entertainment purposes. In Indonesia, it is usually used in music and religious Islamic songs. In Egypt and Turkey, it is mostly used for belly dance’s music rhythm. Moreover, this instrument is also useful to enliven wedding ceremonies as well. Also, many darbuka clubs are rising in popularity, especially in Indonesia as a country with the largest Moslem majority in the world.
Traditionally, darbuka is made from goatskin, clay, and wood. Over time, as knowledge and technology improve, people use materials from metal like copper or aluminum and replace the goatskin with plastic. In Drum Factory Bali, we produce darbuka with a shell made of fiberglass material, very suitable for beginners and advanced players, with some available finishing that can be good options for anyone who loves to play it.
So, are you ready for darbuka? 🙂