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by David Courtney working tools

traditional dholak
Traditional Rope Lacing
turnbuckle dholak
Turnbuckle Tuning

Dholak is a very popular folk drum of northern India.  It is barrel shaped with a simple membrane on the right hand side; basically it is just a smaller version of the dhol.  The left hand is also a single membrane with a special application on the inner surface.  This application is a mixture of tar, clay and sand (dholak masala) which lowers the pitch and provides a well defined tone.  There are two ways of tightening the dholak.  Sometimes they are laced with rope, in which case, a series of metal rings are pulled to tighten the instrument.  Sometimes metal turnbuckles are employed.  It is said that this instrument used to occupy a position of considerable prestige.  Today it is merely relegated to filmi and folk music.


Musical Styles That Use Dholak




Selected Video



The Making of a Dholak


The Making of a Dholak, Part Two




Tassa dholak


Sagar Kalika "Dholmaster"


Joven músico del desierto


local festival in india






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© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 David and Chandrakantha Courtney

For comments, corrections, and suggestions, kindly contact David Courtney at david@chandrakantha.com