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date: 14 November 2019

Ḍakkā [ḍāk, ḍākki, ḍäkki, ḍāklu]locked

  • Alastair Dick


[ḍāk, ḍākki, ḍäkki, ḍāklu]

Medieval Sanskrit term for a waisted or hourglass drum. Drums of this type, either gently waisted or with the hourglass shape proper (with a very narrow waist and two hemispherical chambers) have been traced in ancient Indian sculpture from about the 2nd century bce, the latter type having some priority. Mostly laced, they were played in various ways: held by a shoulder strap or the hand and beaten with the hand or sticks on one or both heads, or held in the armpit or hand and pressed in the middle for variable tension (for the latter type, see Paṇava; for another prominent Indian type, the pellet drum, see ḍamaru ).

The ḍakkā is described by Śārṅgadeva (13th century) as about 24 cm long, with a diameter of 16 cm at the heads and somewhat less in the middle; it is thus of the gently waisted type. The shell is about 1 cm thick; the structure of the heads is not described. Each head, under the skins, has a snare device of two crossed strings attached to four copper nails inserted around the head; a blade of grass is inserted under the strings ‘to increase the sound’. The ḍakkā is played with a crooked stick (...

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