Name: Khol.
Type: Barrel Drum > Membranophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 211.22
Country: Assam, India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The khol [in Assamese: খোল] also known as a mrdanga in the Odia language (lit. “mrit+anga” = “clay limb”) or mridôngo [in Bengali: মৃদঙ্গ) not to be confused with mridangam. It is a terracotta two-sided drum used in northern and eastern India for accompaniment with devotional music [bhakti]. It originates from the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam and Manipur. The drum is played with palms and fingers of both hands.

Usage: The drum is used to accompany Bengali, Oriya kirtans by medieval poets like Chandidas, Govindadasa and Gyanadas. It is also used to accompany Gaudiya Nritya, one of the nine Indian classical dances [as recognized by Ministry of Culture, and not recognized by Sangeet Natak Akademi]. In the International Society for Krishna Consciousness [ISKCON, “Hare Krishnas”] and in Gaudiya Vaishnava societies, the khol is the primary drum for bhajan and kirtan.


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