Qawwali

Instruments of Qawwali
In the past, the instrumentation of qawwali was a double-headed drum (dholak) and a bowed lute (sarangi, dilruba) and an earthenware pot. The instrumentation today consists of a pair of hand-pumped harmoniums in the front row, supported by either a dholak or a pair of drums (tabla) in the middle of the second row. The larger left drum of the tabla is given a coating of freshly-kneaded dough (atta) in the center to give it more resonance. In the case of the dholak, the inside of the membrane on the left side is coated on the inside with a special glue mixed with oil (bhed) for the same effect. A large earthenware pot (ghara) is sometimes also used for the rhythm with anklets tied on the wrist of the pot player (ghungru), as well as the iron rings on the fingers to strike the side of the pot. A booming sound is created by striking the mouth of the pot with the open hand, sharp percussive sounds by hitting the rings against the sides and the tinkling of bells by shaking the wrist in mid-air. Clapping by the performers in the second row completes the instrumentation.


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