Friday, March 1, 2024


Folk Music

Sanku Vadyam

The conch or Sanku is an object of veneration for the folk. Music is produced from a conch to which a silver pipe is attached.  The end of the pipe serves as the mouth-piece.  The pipe does not contain any air-holes. The player produces the required sound by skillfully adjusting the volume and pressure of the air that he/she blows through the pipe.  The sound so produced resembles the combined sound of a clarinet and mukaveena (mouth organ).

In Palani, members of a family of traditional Pandarams play on the conch certain characteristic musical lines to the accompaniment of percussion instruments. Regular music concerts also are given on the conch. For this purpose the conch used is called Dhavala Chank. It has an extra fitting 5" pipe connected to the mouth piece of the conch.  It is played entirely through the skillful control of the air blown through the conch.

The conch-shell is used as a musical instrument in the fields. It is believed by the folk that this music will help to increase production. This view is now shared by some scientists as well.