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Pakhawaj

The pakhawaj (paksa + vadya = “side + instrument”) is an ancient drum that contains two heads on the side. Some musicologists believe that it is the predecessor of the tabla. The construction is a barrel drum made of wood containing two goat skin heads. The smaller head (dayan) has a head resembling a larger tabla head. The bigger bass side (bayan) is a goat skin head that requires a temporary application of dough when played. The temporary dough application will allow the player to add enough dough to complement the dayan, in addition to give a powerful bass effect. Traditionally, the two heads are fastened with raw hide, like the tabla. In the picture shown above, it is fastened with nuts and bolts.

 

Pakhawaj is primarily used for dhrupad, dhamar, and rarely kheyal.

 

 AUDIO CLIP: Pakhawaj

 

UPDATED: March 12, 2012