The Darbuka can be referred to by many names. The name used can vary by the size of the Darbuka in question, or the region in which the name is used. To make matters even more confusing, most people use various names interchangeably, which makes it harder to identify what someone is referring to. For simplicity, we consistently use the term “Darbuka” to refer to the drum in question. However, the below list should help you understand what other people mean when they use different names.


  • Darbuka – If you’re reading this, you know what a Darbuka is. They are fantastic percussion instruments that create amazing sounds.
  • Doumbek – Another word for Darbuka. Some would say that Doumbek and Darbuka are different, but in practice, most people use the names interchangeably.
  • Sombaty – A (slightly) larger sized Darbuka.
  • Doholla – A very large Darbuka.
  • Tabla – In India, this instrument is a two-part drum that’s part of the Indian musical heritage. In Egypt, a Tabla means a Darbuka.
  • Tarabana/Darabana – Another word for a Darbuka, commonly used across Eastern Europe.
  • Bongo – A different instrument that has nothing to do with a Darbuka.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *