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Dhol

From Academic Kids

Dhol is a percussion instrument with roots in Indian/Pakistani province of Punjab.

It is a rather bulky drum played mostly as an accompanying instrument to the traditional Punjabi dance of Bhangra. The drum consists of a wooden barrel with patches of animal hide stretched over its open ends and covering them completely. These patches can be stretched or loosened with a tightening mechanism made up of either interwoven ropes, or nuts and bolt. Tightening or loosening this can change the characterstics of the sound of the drum. The stretched animal hide on one of the ends is thicker and produces a deep, low frequency (higher bass) sound and the other thinner one produces a higher frequency sound. The drum is played using two wooden sticks, one for each end of the drum. Of the two, the stick used to play the bass side of the drum is a bit thicker (roughly about 10 mm in diameter) and is bent in a quarter-circular arc on the end that strikes the drum. The other playing stick is much thinner and flexible and used to play the higher frequency end of the drum. While playing, the drum is slung over the neck of the player with a strap usually made up of ropes or woven cloth. The surface of the wooden barrel is in some cases decorated with engraved or painted patterns.

Dhol was a popular musical instrument in both formal and informal dance performances for decades. Dhol players were once sought after individuals for occasions of celebration, such as weddings, in Punjab. However, since the 1980s, the introduction of electronic devices such as tape recorders that can reproduce music have led to a decline in the importance of the dhol player. Though formal Bhangra performances still involve traditional dhol, casual revelries are mostly carried out sans-dhol. Nevertheless, dhol music still figures in the studio recordings of present day Bhangra music artists. Dhol's popularity is not confined to Punjab, and it is in fact much-loved throughout India and the United Kingdom.

In Qawwali music, the term dhol is used to describe a similar, but smaller drum that is used with the smaller tabla, as a replacement for the left hand tabla drum.

A smaller cousin of the dhol exists called dholak or dholaki.

See also Indian musical instruments, List of musical instruments

External links

de:Dhol fr:Dhol

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