Folk Music of Kerala
Kerala has a rich tradition of folk songs and anthems, a large portion of which are sung in local dialects. With the evolving times, these songs have wound down in fame. Gone down progressively through generations by a vibrant oral tradition, the creation of the vast majority of these songs is obscure. The types of folk music in Kerala are Christian songs, Carnatic, Vadakkanpattu (northern folk), Kathakali and tribal music.
Places like Kochi, Thissur, Varkala, Trivandrum, Kozhikode, Munnar etc. are appropriate to enjoy some folk music. They use Chenda, Edakka, Kombu, Kurum Kuzhal, Maddalam, Mizhavu, Panchvadyam, Pulluvarkkudam, Thayambaka, Thimila, Shankhu etc. during their folk dance or music performances in festivals like Onam, Vishu, Ambalapuzha Arattu, Aranmula Uthrattathi, Attukal Pongala, Adoor Gajamela, Kuthiyottam and Kettukazhcha, Chittoor Konganpada etc.
The language of the songs used for Kathakali is Manipravalam, a mixture of Malayalam and Sanskrit. 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. Popular folk songs of Kerala are Mappila Pattu, Knanaya Folk Songs, Ottamthullal Songs, Pulluvan Pattu, Villu Pattu and Temple Music.
Folk Music of Karnataka
Karnataka boasts of a fortunate custom in the domain of folk music and traditional music. The rich legacy of the music of Karnataka can be attributed to the Vijayanagara and Woodeyar rulers who themselves were incredible examples of music and writing. These administrations boosted the development of conventional music and energized promising musicians. With that, Karnataka has made a considerable commitment to the development of the type of Indian classical music which today is known as Carnatic music.
Gopala Nayaka traveled all the way from the south to become the court musician of Allauddin Khilji (1295-1315) in the north. He cultivated the friendship of the Persian musicologist, Amir Khusrau. These were incorporated in the treatise on music by a South Indian composer of the 16th century - Pundarika Vittala. The intermingling of the two cultures gave rise to the two modes of singing- Uttaradi and Dakshinadi or Hindustani and Carnatic.
Janapada Geethe is yet another thriving music form of Karnataka. By combining elements of prose and verse, several folk epics were created. Particularly the tribal people had their own distinct songs and styles to celebrate both social and religious occasions. Noteworthy among the folk music genre are the Vachanas of Basavanna, an ardent Shaivaite whose verses were so lyrical that they got incorporated into Janapada Sangita.
Places like Mangalore, Hampi, Coorg, Bijapur, Mysore, Hubli etc. are appropriate to enjoy some folk music. They use Violin, Veena, Udukkai, Thavil, Shankha, Nadaswaram, Mridangam, Morsing etc. during their folk dance or music performances in occasions like Hampi Festival, Kambala Festival, Ugadi Festival etc.
Folk Music of Telengana and Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is rich in its conventional folk work of art. Folk life and folk workmanship are indivisibly interwoven with each other. Folk music is the music of the majority. Each occasion of life has a special folk tune related with it. They are sung during celebrations, the approach of a new season, the birth of a tyke, or everyday issues from teasing a loved one to appreciating nature. The most loved methods for appreciating someone on any events are folk melodies. There are likewise folksongs on journeys, medication, cremation, marriage, folklore, and cradle-songs.
Jangam Katha is one of the earliest folk ballad forms prevalent in Andhra. Oggu Katha derives its name from the inspiring "Damarukam", called Oggu, which initiates the stories sung by the ballad singers. Several Saiva stories are in the repertoire of the Oggus, though others not connected with Saivism are also sung. Kinnera Katha is a folk ballad form narrated by 'Dakkala' community in Telangana to the supplement of a string instrument called 'Kinnera'. It has usually seven notes and so is called Edumetia Kinnera. Golla Suddulu is accompanied by a drum and a horn. These 'gollas' also participate in reciting a long verse (Dandakam) on religious occasions and offer sacrifices during ritual ceremonies (bonalu).
Places like Vijayawada, Tirupathi, Vishakhapatnam, Lepakshi, Hyderabad etc. are appropriate to enjoy some folk music. They use Violin, Veena, Nadaswaram, Mandolin etc. during their folk dance or music performances in occasions like Deccan Festival, Lumbini Festival, Tirumala Tirupati Festival, Sammakka Saralamma Jatara, Bathukamma etc.
Folk Music of Tamil Nadu
Tamilnadu is profoundly established in an extraordinary tradition of folk art and music, which show the traditions and abilities that have descended from generations. The folk music of Tamil Nadu speaks of the ethos, tasteful values, and tunes of the locale. Traditionally, folk music is conducted during festivals and community gatherings.
Tamil folk music is remarkable for the tala intricacies. Ancient classical ragas or melodies like Manji, Sama, Navaroz, Kalyani, Karaharapriya, Thodi, and Nadanam-k-kria are used in the folk-songs. Many instruments are used in folk music. The hill-tribes have a natural fondness for music and they are known for the preservation of ancient culture. The Pulayar tribe describes their melodies as talams. According to them, their melodies are derived from the cooing of birds such as kanamayil, Kanakkozhi. Talam and melodies are named after their deities. Karaganachi talam, Mangalanada talam, Kundhanada talam, etc. The Kulavai sound is made by the women engaged in agricultural work with a turn of the tongue which they move swiftly side ward. Nayyandi Melam or Chinna Melam is a rustic imitation of the classical melam or Nadaswaram and is intended purely as an accompaniment to folk dance drama to cater to the tastes of the unlettered audience.
Places like Chennai, Kodaikanal, Rameshwaram, Ooty, Pondicherry, Madurai, Coimbatore etc. are appropriate to enjoy some folk music. They use Silappadikaaram, Yaazh, Veena, Thamburas, Vangiyam etc. during their folk dance or music performances in occasions like Pongal, Tamil New Year, Natyanjaili Dance Festival, Thaipusam, Thiruvayaru Festival etc.
From the diverse variety of the Indian musical instruments used in their music to the versatility in vocal range exhibited by the singers, South India effortlessly takes an important position in the enriching of folk music of India.
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Folk Music of South India