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date: 14 November 2019

Nāl [naal, dholki]locked

  • Jonathan Katz

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[naal, dholki]

Double-headed drum of the ḍholak type used in Gujarat and Maharashtra, west India. The turned wooden body (often of sheesham wood), about 60 cm long, tapers towards the right-hand head, the two goatskin heads being held by iron hoops linked by tensioning ropes; tension is applied by turning sticks inserted in the W-form lacing. The slightly smaller, and higher-pitched, right head is voiced with a paste (syahi) containing iron filings for added resonance. The left head bears an oil-based dholak masala paste on its inner surface. The instrument, held horizontally, is used for accompanying many kinds of dance and song, in street performances and film scores, and is played sitting or standing. The nāl is nowadays used also in north India, and modern types often have metal screw tuning-rods affixed to brackets instead of rope lacing. The alternative term dholki is also applied to other types of drums. (B.C. Deva: ...

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