That’s because Mozart did not know what a tabla was
Tabla virtuosos Zakir Hussain is seen playing with the Symphony Orchestra Of India, and the photo comes from a well-informed article titled 'Alaap in C minor' in the Indian online magazine Live Mint. A very useful perspective on the artificial borders imposed on art music is provided by this story in the article:
Last year, Hussain’s brother Fazal Qureshi played the tabla along with a string quartet in a rendition of Mozart’s Divertimento in D, perhaps the first time an Indian instrument had been used in a canonical Western classical piece. “The Western musicians I was playing with were concerned because they said Mozart did not write this with tabla in mind. I told them that’s because Mozart did not know what a tabla was,” Qureshi says.Also on Facebook and Twitter. Photo credit Narendra Dangiya. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).