(Heb. toph). In old English tabor was used for any drum. Tabouret and tambourine are diminutives of tabor, and denote the instrument now known as the tambourine. Tabret is a contraction of tabouret. The Hebrew toph is undoubtedly the instrument described by travellers as the duff or diff of the Arabs. It was played principally by women, (Exodus 15:20; Judges 11:34; 1 Samuel 18:6; Psalms 68:25) as an accompaniment to the song and dance, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. The diff of the Arabs is described by Russell as "a hoop (sometimes with pieces of brass fixed in it to make a jingling) over which a piece of parchment is stretched. It is beaten with the fingers, and is the true tympanum of the ancients." In Barbary it is called tar.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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