Monday, July 15, 2024


Folk Music

Folk Music

The music and dance of Tamil Nadu had their beginnings in the temples. From early times, different groups of people were appointed to sing divine songs in the temple. Officers called Thevara Nayakams or leaders of the world of music, arranged the private worship of kings and group singing.

Odhuvars, Sthanikars, or Kattalaiyars offer short musical programmes in the temples by singing the devotional Thevaram songs. Musicians had total reliance on divine grace. They lead the chorus in the temple congregational prayers to the accompaniment of the Sarangi. Sarangi was in use in the temples of Tamil Nadu till the end of the nineteenth century.

The temples at Madurai, Tirunelveli, Sucindram and Alwar Tirunagiri have musical pillars. Such pillars are found in the Artha Mandapam where the singing of Thevaram was accompanied by the music from the stone-pillars.

Intricacies of Folk Music

Tamil folk music is remarkable for the tala intricacies. Very 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.