The taal (Assamese: তাল; Oriya: ଗିନି, Gini ) is a pair of clash cymbals, which make high pitch of sound. The word taal comes from the Sanskrit word Tālà, literally means of the word is a clap. It is a part of Assamese music and culture, used in various traditional customs of Assam e.g. Bihu music, Harinaam etc.
The clash cymbal, taal is made of bell metals i.e. bronze, brass, copper, zinc etc. Each cymbal is connected with a cord which passes through hole in its center. The pitch of sound of different types of taal are varied according to their size, weight and the materials used. A player can also adjust the timbre by varying the point of contact while playing.
There are many types of Taal, categorised by size, weight and looks.
Bortaal (Assamese: বৰতাল) is the big size clash cymbal, Its weight approx. 1½−2 kg. The player who plays Bortaal is called in Assam as Gayan. Bortaal is a symble of Assamese traditional culture. Sometimes, the players perform with both dance-music e.g. in Gayan-Bayan, Bortaal Nritya etc. Sometimes the player perform with only music e.g. in Harinaam, Dihanaam etc. The rhythmic high pitch of sound of the Bortaal makes the surroundings pure and sacred.
Majutaal (Assamese: মাজুতাল) is medium size clash cymbal,
Ramtaal or Khoritaal (Assamese: ৰামতাল বা খৰিতাল) is two wooden handled musical instrument, each one is fixed 3 pairs too small size facing clash cymbals on an axis holding like finger cymbal. It is generally known India as Khartal.