video description from the ever-cool Clint Hulton:
An odd use of music for a film scene, here is an ever-so-brief snatch of rhythm played by the Punjabi dhol drums, in the film "Gangs of New York."
The rhythm is one, only a few decades old, that Punjabi drummers in-the-know call "tika tik." Those less aware think it is the "jhummar" rhythm, used to accompany a variant of the dance by the same name. Although misunderstood, nonetheless the novelty character of the rhythm (coupled with the ease of playing it, I think) has made it especially popular amongst dhol-players in countries outside of Punjab. So it was that the dhol group The Dhol Foundation, based in the U.K. recorded the rhythm on one of their albums. One can only speculate why director Martin Scorsese's crew, on hearing the album, got the idea to pop it into the film here; why didn't the composer of the film's score just write up a few taps on the drum for this brief scene?
For someone aware of the cultural meaning of this rhythm/music (admittedly, a very small percentage of the film's audience) it is weird to hear. So when I returned from studying these dhol rhythms in Punjab and saw this in a movie theatre in 2002, I was a bit freaked out by the incongruity. I suppose its like the video games that have soundtracks with inadvertent excerpts of Koranic chant in the background!