Music has no language and no cultural barriers. It has the power to enliven the spirits and transfer us to a world of ecstasy. The music of Kerala owes its origin to the ancient illustrations, cultural heritage and unique traditions.
Sopanam Style:- Kerala has its own distinct indigenous style of music known as Sopanam Sangeetam which consists of step by step version of raga based songs. Thesew devotional songs are dedicated to the deity of the temple Musicians normally stand on the left side of the steps of Sopana and sing devotional songs and are accompanied with musical instruments like edakka drum and chengila. Sopanam sangeetem was an exponent of Kerala Bhakti Movement and the lyrics are mostly taken from the Jayadeva’s immortal work.
Folk Music of Kerala :-The folk music of Kerala is also very rich and represents the myriad cultures of the people of Kerala. The Pulluvar of Kerala are linked to the snake worship and the songs which are performed to please him are called Pulluvan Pattu. It is basically performed in low castes as well as those of higher castes and in the snake temples.
Ottamthullal Songs are meant to be sung during the performances of Ottammthullal. The artists need to sing and dance to certain tunes and follow a proper rhythm.
The Malabar region has developed a specific genre that is based on the Hindustani style. It uses Malyalam words along with Arabic phrases in between which is known as Arabimalayam.
Carnatic Music:- Carnatic Music is world famous and the credit of its popularity goes to Swathi Thirumal the ruler of Travancore. It is the classical music of Southern India. The basic form is a monophonic song with improvised variations. Some great names like Shadkala Govinda Marar, Vativelu, Ponnayya and the Tanjavur brothers need to be mentioned in the growth of this style of music
Musical Instruments of Kerala
The musical instruments used in Kerala include Chenda, Dolak, Edakka, Mizhavu, Mridangam, Udukku, Takil and Timila are few percussion instruments. Wind instruments include Kombu, Kuzhal, Nadaswaram and Mughavina . The varied Stringed instruments include Tamburu, Sarangi, Swarabi, Vina and Violin. 'Thayampaka' is another unique temple vadya. 'Panchavadyam' consists of five musical instruments which are played together to create a melodious tune