The Pakhavaj, also called Mardala, Pakhawaj, Pakuaj, Pakhvaj, Pakavaj or Mardala, is an Indian barrel-shaped, two headed drum, the North Indian equivalent to the Southern mirdangam. It is the standard percussion instrument n the dhrupad style and is widely used an accompaniment for various forms of music and dance performances. The pakhavaj has a low, mellow tone, very rich in harmonics.
The dholak is a North Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese double-headed hand drum. It may have traditional lacing or turnbuckle tensioning: in the former case rings are used for tuning, though the dholak is mainly a folk instrument, lacking the exact tuning of the tabla or the pakhavaj. It is widely used in gawwali, kirtan and various styles of North Indian folk music. It was formerly much used in classic dance.
The word “mirdangam” is derived from the two Sanskrit words “Mrid” (clay of earth) and “Ang” (body). Early mirdangams were indeed made of hardened clay. Over the years, the mirdangam evolved to be made of different kinds of wood due to its increased durability, and today, its body is constructed from wood of the jackfruit tree. It is widely believed that the tabla, the mirdangam´s North Indian musical counterpart, was first constructed by splitting a mirdangam in half. With de development of the mirdangam came the evolution of the tala (rhythmic) system. The system of talas is South Indian Carnatic music may be the most complex percussive rhythm system of any form of classic music.
Similar to the Western tambourine, it consists of a circular frame made of the wood of thejackfruit tree, between 7 and 9 inches in width and 2 to 4 inches in depth. It is covered on one side with a drumhead made of monitor lizard skin, while the other side is left open. The frame has a single slit which contain three to four small metal discs—often old coins—that jingle when the kanjira is played.
The ghatam is a percussion instrument, used in the carnatic music of south india. It´s analogs in Rajasthan knows as magda and pani mataqa (water jug ).
It is in a earthenware pot; the artist use the fingers, thumbs, palms and heels of the hands to outer surface of the ghatam. An airy low-pitch bass sound, called gumki is created by hitting the mouth of the pot with an open hand. The artist sometimes presses the mouth of the pot against their bare belly, which deepens the tone of the bass stroke, and is another way to produce the “gumki” sound. Diferent tones can be produced by hitting different areas of the pot with different parts of the hands. The ghatam usually accompanies a mirdangam.