Dholak Or Hand Drum

The Dholak (sometimes dholaki) is a classical North Indian hand drum. A dholak may have traditional lacing or turnbuckle tuning. The dholak has a simple membrane and a handle on the right-hand side. The left-hand membrane has a special coating on the inner surface. This coating is a mixture of tar, clay and sand (dholak masala) which lowers the pitch and provides a well-defined tone. The dholak is the main accompaniment instrument of the Qawwali.

The dholak is often used in Filmi Sangeet or Indian film music. It is also used extensively in chutney music, the local Indian music of the Caribbean. It is the main instrument along with the harmonium brought by the indentured immigrants to Trinidad. It is played widely in both chutney and filmi songs.

The dholak The dholak is a double sided drum. The body of the instrument is made of one piece of wood.

Hollow, the body has two opertures of different size, one, small, that will generate high pitched sounds and another, wider, for low pitched sounds. The walls of the instrument are 2/3 centimeters thick and give it stability in the low frequencies. The two skins are stretched together by iron clad. The dholak is the main accompaniment instrument of the Qawwali.

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