Dholak is a very popular folk drum of northern India. It is barrel shaped with a simple membrane on the right-hand side. The left hand is also a single membrane with a special application on the inner surface. This application is a mixture of tar, clay and sand (dholak masala) which lowers the pitch and provides a well-defined tone. There are two ways of tightening the dholak. Sometimes they are laced with rope, in which case, a series of metal rings are pulled to tighten the instrument. Sometimes metal turnbuckles are employed. It is said that this instrument used to occupy a position of considerable prestige. Today it is merely relegated to filmi and folk music.