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.
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