Mridangam is a two-headed drum and is the primary rhythmic accompaniment in a Carnatic music ensemble. It is made of wood in an angular barrel shape, having an outline like an elongated hexagon. Thong hoops around each end of the drum, leather thong lacing, and small wooden dowels slipped under the lacings control the skin tension. A removable patch of tuning paste is affixed to each end, giving the drum a definite pitch. The drum is held across the lap and played on both ends with the hands and fingers.