Name: Thavil.
Type: Membranophones > Barrel > Drums.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 211.22
Country: India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The thavil [in Tamil: தவில் thavil] or tavil is a barrel shaped drum from Tamilnadu. It is used in temple and folk music, where it often accompanies the nadaswaram and also in Carnatic music. The thavil and the nadaswaram are essential components of traditional festivals and ceremonies in South India.

Thanjavur is famous for thavil, so called Thanjavur Thavil. In Carnatic Filmi songs thavils are mostly used, Notable movies: “Thillaanaa Mohanambal”, “Paruthiveeran”, “Karagattakaran”.

Playing Techniques: In the context of folk music, a pair of wider, slimmer sticks are sometimes used. Thanjavur is famous for thavil, so called Thanjavur Thavil.

Construction: The drum consists of a barrel-shaped solid shell, which is carved from a large cylindrical block of jackfruit tree [Artocarpus heterophyllus] 40.64 cm to 16 inches long and in the centre it is 34.29 cm 13.5 inches in diameter and less than half a cm in thickness.

Both the faces of the instrument are almost of the same diameter. The left face of the drum is loaded with a paste on the inside of the drum face to a circular area of two inches. The skins, often in layers, are stretched and stitched over both the faces in a very peculiar manner.


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