Music in Kerala
The northern ballads which
extol chivalry and valour of the 'Ankachekavars' or Warriors who waged
many a famous duel. Though these folk songs form a vast and exhaustive
branch, few of them have survived the passage of time.
These are mostly sung
during festivals like Onam.
Songs Of Christian Art Forms
accompanying Christian art forms like the 'Margom Kali' and the
'Chavittu Natakam' have a distinct language and style of their own.
Their music too is an important tributary of the folk tradition of
Since the beginning of Malayalam
Cinema in the nineteen forties, nearly ten thousand film songs have been
composed for over 2500 films. Songs are an integral part of movies here
and incorporate a wide array of folk and classical tunes.
Regularly aired over the radio, television and public address systems,
film songs have become deeply ingrained in the minds of the malayalee
masses. The memorable contributions of lyricist like Vayalar, O.N.V. and
P.Bhaskaran and music composers like Devarajan, K. Raghavan.
Dakshinamoorthy and Baburaj have greatly enriched the vibrant traditions
of Malayalam Film Music.
Kerala has a rich tradition of
folk songs and ballads, most of which are sung in local dialects. With
the changing times, these songs have waned in popularity. Passed down
successive generations by a vibrant oral tradition, the authorship of
most of these songs is obscure.
Lyrics are sung by two
vocalists. Two varieties of drums form the orchestra, the Maddalam and
the Chenda. In accompaniment are the Chengila, a bell metal gong played
by one vocalist and the Ilathalam or Cymbals played by the other.
Kerala has a wealth of lilting
folk Lullabies. Nurtured down the generations, they have cast an
influence even over the mainstream Malayalam poetry.
Songs to alleviate the burden of
labour. The work songs of Kerala can be categorized as harvest songs,
hunting songs, boat songs and weavers' songs.
Songs Of Temple Art Forms
of the goddess Devi, they are rendered while drawing the deity's figure
on the ground (Kalamezhuthu). They are also sung in accompaniment to
ritual performances like Mudiyettu, Kolam Tullal, Patayani, Theeyattu,
Pulluvan Pattu and Paana.
Sung by the Muslims of north
Kerala. They are written and rendered in a lingo called
The word 'Sopana' means a
flight of steps leading upto the sanctum sanctorum of a temple.
Devotional recitals rendered on these steps became 'sopana sangeetham'.
Besides, the musical notes (ragas) too have an ascending and descending
order. Even though over fifty instruments can accompany Sopana
Sangeetham, Edakka is most commonly used.
There are as many as 47 sects
of tribals in Kerala, each having a unique culture and heritage of its
own. Rich art forms and music are integral parts of tribal music.
classical music of South India. It became popular in Kerala under the
patronage of Swathi Thirunal, a monarch of the erstwhile state of
Travancore. The vocalist is usually accompanied by an orchestra of
mridangam, violin, ghatam and moorchang.