(תֹּŠ, t6ph, Ex 15:20; Jg 11:34; 2Sa 6:5; 1Ch 13:8; Job 21:12; Ps 81:2; Ps 149:3; Ps 150:4; elsewhere rendered "tabret;" also. the cognate verb תָּפִŠ, taphâph, Ps 68:25; rendered "tabor," Ne 2; Ne 7; τύμπανον, Jude 3:7) The Heb. word is an imitative one occurring in many languages rot immediately connected with each other. It is the same as the Arabic and Persian duf, which in the Spanish becomes adufe, a tambourine. The root, which signifies to beat or strike, is found in the Greek τύπανον or τύμπανον, Lat. tympanum, Ital. tamburo, Span. tambor, Fr. tambour, Proverbs tabor, Engl. tabor, tabouret, timbrel, tambourine, A. S. dubban, to strike, Engli tap, and many others. It is usual for etymologists to quote likewise the Arab. tunbur as the original of tambour and tabor; but, unfortunately, the tunbur is a guitar, and not a drum (Russell, Aleppo [2nd ed.], 1, 152). The parallel Arabic word is tabl, which denotes a kind of drum, and is the same with the Rabb. Heb. tabla and (Span. atabal, a-kettle-drum. The instrument and the word may have come to us through the Saracens. In old English tabor was used for any drum. Thus Robof Gloucester (ed. Hearne, 1810), p. 396:
"Vor of trompes and of tabors the Saracens made there So gret noise that Cristenmen al disturbed were."
In Shakespeare's time it seems to have become an instrument of peace, and is thus contrasted with the drum: "I have known when there was no music with him but the drum and fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe" (Much Ado about Nothing, act 2 scene 3) Tabouret and tabourine are diminutives of tabor, and denote the instrument now known as the tambourine:
"Or Minoe's whistling to his tabouret, Selling a laughter for a cold meal's meat" (Hall, Sat. 4:1, 78).
Tabret is a contraction of tabouret. The word is retained in the A.V. from Coverdale's translation in all passages except Isa 30:32, where it is omitted in Coverdale, and Eze 28:13, where it is rendered "beauty." Thee Heb. toph is undoubtedly the instrument de-scribed by travelers as the dufor dif of the Arabs. It was used in very early times by the Syrians of Padanaram at their merry-makings (Ge 31:27). It was played principally by women (Ex 15:20; Jg 11:34; 1Sa 18:6; Ps 68:25 ) as an accompaniment to the song and dance (comp. ud. 3, 7), and. appears to have been worn by them as an ornament: (Jer 31:4). The toph was one of the instruments, played by the young prophets whom Saul met on his return from Samuel (1Sa 10:5), and by the Levites in the Temple-band (2Sa 6:5; 1Ch 13:8). It; accompanied the merriment of feasts (Isa 5; Isa 12; Isa 24,. 8), and the joy of triumphal processions (Jg 11:34;. 1Sa 18:6), when the women came out to meet the warriors returning from victory, and is everywhere a sign of happiness and peace (Job 21:12; Isa 30:32;. Jer 31:4). So in the grand triumphal entry of God into his Temple, described in strong figures in Psalm 18, the procession is made up by the singers who marched in front, and the players on stringed instruments who brought up the rear, while on either side danced the young maidens with their timbrels (ver. 25 ).
The passage of Ezekiel, 28:13, is obscure, and appears to have been early corrupted. Instead of תֻּפֶּיךָ, "thy tabrets," the Vulg. and Targ. Read יָפיֹךָ, "'thy beauty," which is the rendering adopted in Coverdale's and Cranmer's Bible. The Sept. seems to have read תּוֹכךָ, as in ver. 16. If the ordinary text be adopted, there is no reason for taking toph,; as Jerome suggests, in the sense of the setting of a gem, "pala qua gemma continetur." SEE TABRET.
The tympanum was used in the feasts of Cybele (Herod. 4. 76) and is said to have been the invention of Dionysus and Rhea (Eurip. Bacch. 59). It was played by women, who beat it with the palms of their hands (Ovid, Met. 4:29), and Juvenal (Sat. 3, 64) attributes to it a Syrian origin:
"Jam pridem Syrus in Tiberim defluxit Orontes Et linguam, et mores et cum tibicine chordas Obliquas, necnon gentilia tynpana secum Vexit."
In the same way the tabor is said to have been introduced into Europe by the Crusaders, who adopted it from the Saracens, to whom it was peculiar (see Du Cange's note on De Joinville's Hist. du Roi Saint Louis, 61).
The author of Shilte Haggibborim (c. 2) gives the Greek κύμβαλον as the equivalent of toph, and says it was a hollow basin of metal, beaten with a stick of brass or iron.
The dif of the Arabs is described by Russell (Aleppo if st ed.], p. 94) as a hoop (sometimes with pieces of brass fixed in it to make a jingling) over which a piece of parchment is distended. It is beaten with the fingers, and is the true tympanum of the ancients, as appears from its figure in several relievos, representing the orgies of Bacchus and rites of Cybele." The same instrument was used by the Egyptian dancing-women whom Hasselquist saw (Travels [ed. 1766], p. 59). In Barbary it is called tar, and "is made like a sieve, consisting (as Isidore [Orig. 3, 31] 'describes the tympanum) of a rim or thin hoop of wood with a skin of parchment stretched over the top of it. This serves for the bass in all their concerts, which they accordingly touch very artfully with their fingers, or with the knuckles or (palms of their hands, as the time and measure require, or as force and softness are to be communicated to the several parts of the performance" (Shaw, Travels, p. 202). SEE MUSICAL, INSTRUMENTS.