History of the Dhol


dholDesi Dhol music has witnessed international fame. The dhol music has been used in several Hollywood and bollywood films. Though primarily the dhol music originated from Punjab, today you could find a custom made dhol almost everywhere. The modern day singers and bands especially dhol players like Johnny Kalsi have been able to take dhol music to a new platform of fusion music.

History
Dhol was introduced in India in 15th century by Persian musicians and they referred it as dohul/duhul. Egyptians also used duhul with Tabl, an Arab drum in their military band in 1047Mughal emperor; Akbar’s (1542-1605) orchestra included the Persian version of dhol. Later on Mughals started using a modified version – Nagaraa. It was played to mark the movement of royal family and military exercise. Indian dhol came in 18th Century.

Dhol became popular in the Punjab region and it became popular across India and to other subcontinent countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh. Dhol music is generally associated with accelerating desi Punjabi music and dance including Bhangra & Gidda. Dhol music has a special importance in life and times of Punjabi and Sikhs across the world. Though primarily it was meant to be played in festive occasions of – Lohri & Baisakhi and family get together like wedding, today it has gained remarkable acceptance and popularity. A typical Punjabi song cannot be without dhol beats. This has also given a platform for new singers and dancers to perform on dhol beats.

Dhol Construction
It has a unique double headed barrel construction viz. made of hard wood. It is made from a thick wood – Mango tree, Shesham wood and Talli wood is used to provide the thickness and toughness to its structure. It is around 18-28 inches in size. You can get your custom made dhol too. A thick cotton belt is used to harness it around your shoulders. To add more rhythms to the dhol music, instrument is covered with Goat skin to cover both hollow ends. One end provides the Bass (dagga side) and the other treble (tilli side). However, you can also purchase a dhol with plastic skin. 

Playing Dhol
It is played with two wooden sticks which are made out of cane and bamboo. Dagga, the longer of the two sticks is used to play the bass side and the Tilli, the shorter stick, is used to play the treble side. Unlike western instruments which follow Waltz system of playing with 4 beats, dhol uses Chaal system of playing with 8 beats.

Dhol music reminds desi people of their national roots and country. Although India is a land of diversity with so many regions and religions, Punjabi dhol can enlighten any desi soul.


Articles

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History of the Dhol

Desi Dhol music has witnessed international fame. The dhol music has been used in several Hollywood and bollywood films. Though primarily the dhol music originated from Punjab, today you could find a custom made dhol almost everywhere. more

20069-09-15
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the RnF Dhol Club dedicates itself to the art of playing the Dhol, an ancient Indian drum popularly used in dances and celebrations all throughout India.