The Dhol (pronounced Tol) is a large two-sided barrel shaped drum originating from the Punjab, North India. Synthetic or animal hide skins are stretched over both sides of the wooden barrel. The thick looser skin on one side creates a low frequency bass sound whereas the thin tighter skin on the other side creates a high frequency treble sound. When played together these frequencies are so powerful that they resonate through the bodies of the audience making it impossible for them not to move to the beat and groove.
Traditionally, the Dhol was used at the time of harvest when the
communities would gather to sing and dance to the beat of this powerful drum. The dance moves of the villagers mimicked the actions of the farmers at work. Acting out the motions of ploughing the land, cutting the crop and sewing seeds were fun and exciting bhangra dances that were performed to celebrate the harvest season. The Dhol has since been used at times of happiness and celebration.
In its early form, the Dhol was used to gather large crowds before formal announcements and it continues to be one of the most effective ways to kick off an auspicious occasion, literally starting it with a BANG!