The ancient name of madal was mardal (मर्दल in Nepali)
The Madal , used mainly for rhythm-keeping in Nepalese folk music, is the most popular and widely used hand drum in Nepal. The Madal consists of a cylindrical body with a slight bulge at its centre, closed on both ends. (The sides are often referred to as “heads”; one head is smaller than the other).
The madal has a strand that goes around the waist of the person playing it to hold it horizontally. Playing technique involves rhythmic striking of either of the ends (heads) with the palm of the hand. The heads vibrate to produce sound when struck.
Typically, a wooden log is carved so as to form a hollow cavity, called Ghar (घर). The heads of the drum are made of double-layered goat skins, and a black paste made of flour, iron filings, and egg is burned in to a circular area in the centre of each head. This circle adds weight to the head and significantly alters the sound of the drum, giving it a bell-like quality. The heads are fixed to the body of the drum by leather strips running the length of the body, and an additional loose strip of leather which can be looped behind the performer’s knees while playing. The larger and smaller heads are often referred to as male and female.