Music of Kerala


Music of Kerala
Music of India
Genres

Classical (Carnatic · Hindustani) · Bhajan · Ghazal · Qawwali · Sufi · Folk · Filmi · Pop  · Rock (Bangla) · Hip Hop · Trance

Awards

Filmfare Awards  · Punjabi Music Awards  · Sangeet Natak Akademi Award

Festivals

Dover Lane music festival
Thyagaraja Aradhana
Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana

Media

Sruti
The Record Music Magazine

National
anthem

"Jana Gana Mana"

National
song

"Vande Mataram"

By state/territory

Andaman and Nicobar Islands · Andhra Pradesh · Arunachal Pradesh · Assam
Bihar · Chhattisgarh · Goa · Gujarat · Haryana · Himachal Pradesh · Jammu & Kashmir · Jharkhand · Karnataka · Kerala · Madhya Pradesh · Maharashtra · Manipur · Meghalaya · Mizoram · Nagaland · Orissa · Punjab (Bhangra· Rajasthan · Sikkim · Tamil Nadu · Tripura · Uttar Pradesh · Uttaranchal · West Bengal (Bengali)

The Music of Kerala has a long and rich history.It is not the same as malayalam poetry although most of it is poetry driven. Kerala has a rich tradition in Carnatic music.Songs formed a major part of early Malayalam literature, which traces its origin to the 9th century CE.[1] The significance of music in the culture of Kerala can be established just by the fact that in Malayalam language, musical poetry was developed long before prose. With the development of music in the region, different branches were formed out of it. The most basic branches are classical music which is primarily Carnatic music oriented, and popular music which includes film songs and album songs. Then there is music like chenda melamwhich is quite popular.

Contents

History

The earliest written record of Malayalam is the Vazhappalli inscription (ca. 830 CE). The early literature of Malayalam comprised three types of composition:

  • Classical songs known as Naadan Paattu
  • Manipravalam of the Sanskrit tradition, which permitted a generous interspersing of Sanskrit with Malayalam
  • The folk song rich in native elements

Malayalam poetry to the late 20th century CE It is very unusefull data. varying degrees of the fusion of the three different strands. The oldest examples of Pattu and , , are Ramacharitam and Vaishikatantram, both of the twelfth century.

Classical Music

Kerala is musically known for Sopanam. Sopanam is religious in nature, and developed through singing invocatory songs at the Kalam of Kali, and later inside temples. Sopanam came to prominence in the wake of the increasing popularity of Jayadeva's Gita Govinda or Ashtapadis. Sopana sangeetham (music), as the very name suggests, is sung by the side of the holy steps (sopanam) leading to the sanctum sanctorum of a shrine. It is sung, typically employing plain notes, to the accompaniment of the small, hourglass-shaped ethnic drum called idakka, besides the chengila or the handy metallic gong to sound the beats. Sopanam is traditionally sung by men of the Marar and Pothuval community, who are Ambalavasi (semi-Brahmin) castes engaged to do it as their hereditary profession. Some famous sopanam singers are Neralattu Rama Poduval, Janardhanan Nedungadi and Damodara Marar.[2]

Kerala is also home of Carnatic music. Legends like Swati Tirunal, Shadkala Govinda Maarar, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Yesudas( Jesudas), Palghat Mani Iyer, Vidwan Gopala Pillai, Chertala Gopalan Nair, M. D. Ramanathan, T. V. Gopalakrishnan,Sankaran Namboothiri and T. N. Krishnan are renowned musical exponents from Kerala.[3] Among the younger generation, child prodigy violin wizard L.Athira Krishna and Carnatic vocalist P. Unnikrishnan have made their musical impact in the international arena, thus keeping the regal tradition of Carnatic music alive.

Kerala also has a significant presence of Hindustani music as well.[4] The king of Travancore, Swathi Thirunal patronaged and contributed much to the Hindustani Music.

Popular music

Popular music of Kerala had a linear development along with classical music of the region, till the branches separated. The popular music in Kerala is enriched by its highly developed film music branch. Other forms of popular music include light music, albums otherwise known as Mallu Pop. Devotional songs also constitute a major part of Malayalam popular music.

Pulluvan Pattu

The pulluvar of Kerala are closely connected to the serpent worship. One group among these people consider the snake gods as their presiding deity and perform certain sacrifices and sing songs. This is called Pulluvan Pattu. This is performed in the houses of the lower castes as well as those of the higher castes, in addition to serpent temples.

The song conducted by the pulluvar in serpent temples and snake groves is called Sarppapaattu, Naagam Paattu, Sarpam Thullal, Sarppolsavam, Paambum Thullal or Paambum Kalam. The main aspects of this are Kalamezhuthu (Drawing of Kalam, a ritual art by itself), song and dance.

Kathakali Music

The language of the songs used for Kathakali is Manipravalam. Even though most of the songs are set in ragas based on the microtone-heavy Carnatic music, there is a distinct style of plain-note rendition, which is known as the Sopanam style. This typically Kerala style of rendition takes its roots from the temple songs which used to be sung (continues even now at several temples) at the time when Kathakali was born.

Ottamthullal Songs

Ottamthullal songs are meant for the performance of the artform called Ottamthullal. The Ottamthullal artist has to sing and dance to his music. Unlike in the case of Kathakali, the language is not heavy sanskritized Malayalam and the lyrics are set to rhythms that range from simple to rare and complicated.

Mappila Pattu

The Malabar region of the state, with a large Muslim population had developed a signature music stream based on the Hindustani style. The stream consists of a variety of forms like gazals and mappila pattu, and also music for authentic Muslim dance forms such as oppana and kol kali. The poetry forms a main part of this stream of music, which is primarily in Malayalam with the use of Arabic words in between which is known as arabimalayalam. Mappila songs have a charm of their own as their tunes sound a mix of the ethos and culture of Kerala as well as West Asia. They deal with diverse themes such as religion, love, satire and heroism.

Malayalam film music

Film music, which refers to playback singing in the context of Indian music, forms the most important canon of popular music in India. Film music of Kerala in particular is the most popular form of music in the state.[5] Before Malayalam cinema and Malayalam film music developed, the Keralites eagerly followed Tamil and Hindi film songs and that habit has stayed with them till now. The history of Malayalam film songs begin with the 1948 film Nirmala. The film's music director was P.S. Divakar and the songs were sung by P. Leela, T. K. Govinda Rao, Vasudeva Kurup, C. K. Raghavan, Sarojini Menon and Vimala B. Varma, who is credited as the first playback singer of Malayalam cinema.[6]

The main trend in the early years was to use the tune of hit Hindi or Tamil songs in Malayalam songs. This trend was changed in the early 1950s by the arrival of a number of poets and musicians to the Malayalam music scene. People who stormed into the Malayalam film music industry in the 1950s include musicians like V. Dakshinamurthy (1950), K. Raghavan (1954), G. Devarajan (1955) and M.S. Babu Raj (1957) and lyricists like P. Bhaskaran (1950), O.N.V. Kurup (1955) and Vayalar Rama Varma (1956). They are attributed with shaping Malayalam film music stream and giving it its own identity.[7] Major playback singers of that time were Kamukara Purushothaman, K.P. Udayabhanu, A.M. Raja, P. Leela, Santha P. Nair, P. Susheela and S. Janaki. Many of these singers like A.M. Raja, P. Susheela and Janaki were not Malayalis and their pronunciation was not perfect. Despite that, these singers received high popularity throughout Kerala. In later years many non-Malayalis like Manna Dey, Talat Mehmood, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and S.P. Balasubramaniam sang for Malayalam films. This trend was also found among music directors to an extent, with outside musicians like Naushad, Usha Khanna, Salil Chaudhary, Bombay Ravi and Ilaya Raja.[8] This can be attributed to the fact that film music in South India had a parallel growth pattern with so many instances of cross-industry contributions.

K.J. Yesudas, who debuted in 1961, virtually revolutionised the Malayalam film music industry and became the most popular Malayalam singer ever. He became equally popular with classical music audience and people who patronised film music.[9] He, along with P. Jayachandran, gave a major facelift to Malayalam playback singing in the 1960s and 1970s. Malayalam film music also received heavy contributions from musicians like Johnson, M. G. Radhakrishnan, Raveendran, S. P. Venkitesh and Ouseppachan, lyricists like Sreekumaran Thampy, Yusuf Ali Kechery, and Kaithaprom Damodaran Namboodiri, and singers like M. G. Sreekumar, G. Venugopal, K. S. Chithra and Sujatha Mohan. A notable aspect in the later years was the extensive of classical Carnatic music in many film songs of the later 1980s and early 1990s. Interestingly, that particular period is also considered the peak time of Malayalam cinema itself and is quite widely known as the Golden Age of Malayalam cinema,[10] a period in which the difference between art films and popular films was least felt. Similarly, classical Carnatic music was heavily used in several popular film songs, most notably those in films like Chithram (1988), His Highness Abdullah (1990), Bharatham (1991), Sargam (1992) and Sopanam (1993).

At present, the major players in the scene are young talents like musicians M. Jayachandran, Deepak Dev, Alphonse, Jassie Gift, Biji Pal, Shyam Dharman and Shaan Rahman; lyricists late Gireesh Puthanchery, Vayalar Sarath and Anil Panachooran, and singers Madhu Balakrishnan, Afsal, Vidhu Pratap, Franco, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Manjari, Gayathri and Jyotsna, along with stalwarts in the field.

The national award winning music directors of Malayalam cinema are Johnson (1994, 1995) Bombay Ravi (1995)and Ouseppachan(2007). The 1995 National Award that Johnson received for film score of Sukrutham (1994) was the only instance in the history of the award in which the awardee composed the film soundtrack rather than songs. He shared that award with Bombay Ravi who received the award for composing songs for the same film. The lyricists who have won the national award are Vayalar Ramavarma (1973), O. N. V. Kurup (1989) and Yusuf Ali Kechery (2001). The male singers who got national award are K. J. Yesudas (1973, 1974, 1988, 1992, 1994), P. Jayachandran (1986) and M. G. Sreekumar (1991, 2000). Yesudas has won two more national awards for singing in Hindi (1977) and Telugu (1983) films, which makes him the person who has won the largest number of National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer with 7 awards, closely trailed by S. P. Balasubramaniam with 6 awards. The female singers who have won the award are S. Janaki (1981) and K. S. Chithra (1987, 1989). Chitra had also won the award for Tamil (1986, 1997, 2005) and Hindi (1998) film songs, which makes her the person with the largest number of National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer wins with 6 awards, closely trailed by P. Susheela with 5 awards.

Malayalam Pop music

Pop music in Kerala, developed in the later half of 1990s with the entry of East Coast Vijayan and his music company East Coast Audios. East Coast Vijayan can be regarded as the pioneer of non-film pop album songs in Kerala. Being a poet himself, Vijayan penned down the first non-film music album in Malayalam Ninakkai, which was released in 1998.[11] The music was given by Balabhaskar and the song "Ninakkay Thozhi Punarjanikkam" sung by Biju Narayanan became a big hit. In 1999, Vijayan came up with his second album in 'Ninakkai' series named Aadhyamai, composed by Balabhaskar and penned by Vijayan himself. The song "Iniyarkkum Arodum" sung by K. J. Yesudas became another hit. In 2001, East Coast came up with Ormakkai which is widely regarded as the biggest hit in the history of Malayalam Pop Music. The song "Ormakkai Iniyoru Snehageetham" from the album, composed by M. Jayachandran, penned down by Vijayan and sung by K. J. Yesudas and K. S. Chithra is widely regarded as an all time classic hit. Meanwhile Pop albums had caught up the imagination of college campuses and more talents started to come up with music albums. One of such early albums that had become a rage with the youth of that time was Valentine's Day. The song "Niranja Mizhiyum" from the album composed by Isaac Thomas Kottukappally and penned down by Gireesh Puthanchery had become a big hit in college campuses. Audio companies other than East Coast started to come up with Music Albums. Front runners among them were Johny Sagarika, Satyam Audios, Magnum audios and Octave audios. As a result Pop music culture grew in Kerala. In 2006, Satyam audios came up with superhit album 'Chembakame' which saw the rise of a new singing sensation Franco and a talented composer Shyam Dharman. The songs "Sundariye Vaa" and "Chembakame" were record breaking hits. In 2008, Johny Sagarika came up with the album 'Moham'and the song "Kudajadriyil" sung by Swarnalatha and composed by Mansoor Ahmed became a big hit. Meanwhile Mallu pop saw a new trend that was the rise of boy bands. One of the first notable boy band was 'Confusion' of Balabhaskar and their song "No Tension Please" was a hit. Year 2007 saw the coming of a new band 'Team Malayalee' which rocked the malayalam album industry. Team Malayalee consisted of four talented musicians Vineeth Sreenivasan, Jakes Bijoy, Shaan Rahman and Arjun Sasi. The songs "Friends 4 ever" and "Minnalazhake" from the album Malayalee was big hit.[12] In 2008, Vineeth Sreenivasan and Shaan Rahman again teamed up to bring out an album 'Coffee @ MG Road' which became another smashing hit. The song "Palavattom" which featured malayalam actor Salim Kumar is widely regarded as an all time hit. Year 2009 saw the rise of another boy band 'YUVA' which created waves with debut album 'Dreamzzz'. YUVA consisted for three talented young musicians Vineeth Mohandas, Santhosh Kumar and Sinu Zachariah and they brought some fresh air of good melodies to the Malayalam music industry at a time when the industry was stuck up imitating Tamil, Hindi and Western songs. Their debut video song "Ravin Nilakayalil" was a huge hit and was a chart topper throughout the year 2009.[13] In 2010 they came up with their second music video "Povukayano" sung by Vidhu Pratap which again was popular among youths. In 2010, another boy band named 'Arrows' was formed which included reality music show Asianet's Idea Star Singer sensations Arun Gopan, Roshan N.C., William Isaac and Sudarshan Achary.[14] After a gap of 6 years, East Coast came up with their 6th album in Ninakkai series, a very ambitious project 'Ennennum'. The album was released in 5 languages in India with 60 songs involving 30 leading singers in the country. This magnum opus album was composed by Vijay Karun and penned down by East Coast Vijayan. It can be regarded as the first big budget music album of Kerala. Talented young composers like Rashee (Alone, Loved and Lost), Dijo Jose Antony (La Cochin), Nithin (Autograph), Mithun Raj(Violet)have also created their marks in the Malayalam album industry. Here is a collection of Popular Malayalam Pop Music.

References

  1. ^ Sreedhara Menon, A.. Kerala Charithram. Kottayam, Kerala: D.C. Books. p. 494. 
  2. ^ Rolf, Killius (2006). Ritual Music and Hindu Rituals of Kerala. New Delhi: BR Rhythms. ISBN 81-88827-07-X. 
  3. ^ Rolf, Killius (2006). Ritual Music and Hindu Rituals of Kerala. New Delhi: BR Rhythms. ISBN 81-88827-07-X. 
  4. ^ "Music". Keral.com. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080802081714/http://www.keral.com/movies/music.htm. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  5. ^ "Music". Keral.com. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080802081714/http://www.keral.com/movies/music.htm. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  6. ^ K. Pradeep (25 April 2008). "Family affair". The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/fr/2008/04/25/stories/2008042550380400.htm. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  7. ^ Jason Kaitholil. "Cinema History". AMMA (Malayalamcinema.com). http://malayalamcinema.com/Content-4/CinemaHistory.html. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  8. ^ Jason Kaitholil. "Cinema History". AMMA (Malayalamcinema.com). http://malayalamcinema.com/Content-4/CinemaHistory.html. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "K.J. Yesudas". Chennai Online. http://archives.chennaionline.com/musicseason99/profile/yesudas.html. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  10. ^ Jason Kaitholil. "Cinema History". AMMA (Malayalamcinema.com). http://malayalamcinema.com/Content-4/CinemaHistory.html. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  11. ^ eastcoastvijayan.in
  12. ^ malayaleethealbum.blogspot.com
  13. ^ yuvathemusictrio.blogspot.com
  14. ^ thehindu.com

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kerala percussion genres kshetram vadyam and other Indian music systems — Kerala percussion genres kshetram vadyam and other Indian music systemsThere has been some confusion about how to categorise the many Indian music systems. The widely used great little traditions dichotomy (great for classical and little for… …   Wikipedia

  • Kerala — Malayalam is written in a non Latin script. Malayalam text used in this article is transliterated into the Latin script according to the ISO 15919 standard …   Wikipedia

  • Kerala Natanam — (Kerala Dance) is a new style of dance that is now recognised as a distinct art form evolved from Kathakali a form of Indian dance drama. The Indian dancer Guru Gopinath a well trained Kathakali artist and his wife Thankamani Gopinath who was the …   Wikipedia

  • Kerala Folklore Akademi — is an autonomous corporate body constituted by the Government of Kerala on 28 June 1995 under the Cultural Affairs Department, Government of Kerala, Trivandrum. It is the main study center at Kannur in Kerala state, South India.The Institution… …   Wikipedia

  • Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy, Thrissur — Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy is located in the Thrissur City of Kerala, south India. It was established on April 12, 1938. It s aim is to foster and develop Kerala Dance, Drama and Music and to promote through the cultural unity of Kerala. It… …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Goa — Music of India Genres Classical (Carnatic · Hindustani) · Bhajan · Ghazal · Qawwali · Sufi · Folk  …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Assam — Music of India Genres Classical (Carnatic · Hindustani) · Bhajan · Ghazal · Qawwali · Sufi · Folk  …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Tamil Nadu — Music of India Genres Classical (Carnatic · Hindustani) · Bhajan · Ghazal · Qawwali · Sufi · Folk  …   Wikipedia

  • Music of West Bengal — Music of India Genres Classical (Carnatic · Hindustani) · Bhajan · Ghazal · Qawwali · Sufi · Folk  …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Orissa — Music of India Genres Classical (Carnatic · Hindustani) · Bhajan · Ghazal · Qawwali · Sufi · Folk  …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.