No More Ignorance

November 23, 2007

Dhol Of Punjabi

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fadi Ayat @ 8:39 pm


The Dohl is a percussion instrument that is traditional to Indian culture. It is a double ended barrel drum – although some forms of the Dhol may have straight sides. The heads can be either synthetic or made of goat skin or raw hide. The Dohl is tuned with the use of bolts. It is considered as similar to the “Dholka”, otherwise known as the American Dhol, it is also similar to the pan-american instrument the Tambora. In Qawwali music, the term Dhol is usually refers to a similar but smaller drum that is used with the smaller tabla drum as a replacement for the left hand tabla drum.
Dhols tend to vary in sizes depending on the region they originate from. The difference in sizes came about to accommodate the different needs of the instrument players. Dhols found in Punjab are generally smaller because they need to fit the needs of player who tend to do energetic dances while playing the instrument, while in India and Pakistan the Dhol remains big in order to preserve its loud bass tone. The Dhol is used as a traditional accompaniment to traditional dances like the Punjabi dance of the Bhangra, the traditional dance of the Gujarat, Raas and the religious music of Sufism, Qawwali.
The rum structure is composed of a barrel (traditionally made of wood) and its open ends are covered in goat skin, any other animal hide or with a synthetic material. The tone of the Dhol is adjusted with the use of interlaced ropes located on its sides or with the use of nuts and bolts. The degree of tightness of the skin can sufficiently alter the tone of the instrument. People who play the Dhol are referred to as “Dohl players” or Dholis. In modern Punjabi music, Dhols with synthetic coverings are commonplace. A smaller version of the Dhol is known as the Dholka or the Dholki.
Traditionally, the Dhol is played with the use of two wooden sticks, which are most of the time made of bamboo and cane wood. The American Dohl is played with the hands and is placed in between the knees or on the lap of the player.
The Dhol is a very important historically. Before the advent of electronically recorded music Dhol players were much sought after in India and they were asked in play in both formal and informal events. Other than in India, the Dohl has gained much popularity in Fiji, the United Kingdom, and Australia as well as in North America.


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