South Indian folk music is a genre of Indian music. It is the music of the people of South India. It includes music from the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
South India is a treasure trove of folk music and culture. The region is home to a wide variety of folk music traditions, each with its own unique history and style.
The folk music of South India is rich and varied, with each tradition having its own distinct flavor. The most popular genres of South Indian folk music include Carnatic music, Hindustani music, Tamil Nadu folk music, Kerala folk music, Andhra Pradesh folk music, Karnataka folk music, and Mahrashtra folk music.
Carnatic music is the traditional style of South Indian classical music. It is characterized by its beautiful melodies, intricate rhythms, and complex vocal techniques. Carnatic music is traditionally performed by a solo vocalist accompanied by a small group of percussionists and stringed instrument players.
Hindustani music is the other major tradition of classical South Indian music. It shares many similarities with Carnatic music, but also has its own unique style and flavor. Hindustani classical music is typically performed by a solo vocalist or instrumentalist accompanied by a larger group of percussionists and stringed instrument players.
Tamil Nadu folk music is one of the oldest and most popular genres of South Indian folk music. Its roots can be traced back to the ancient Tamil people who inhabited the southernmost tip of India. Tamil Nadu folk music is characterized by its beautiful melodies, intricate rhythms, and rich lyrics. Tamil Nadu folk singers often sing about topics such as love, loss, hope, and happiness.
Kerala folk music is another popular genre of South Indian folk music. Kerala is located on the southwestern coast of India and is home to a large population of Muslims. As a result, Kerala’s musical traditions are heavily influenced by Islamic culture. Kerala’s musical instrumentation typically includes the sitar (a plucked stringed instrument), tabla (a pair of hand drums), harmonium (a pump-operated keyboard instrument), and dholak (a two-sided drum). Kerala’s musical styles are often very hypnotic and trance-like in nature.
Andhra Pradeshfolk musichails from the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh’s musical traditions are heavily influenced by Carnaticmusic as well as Hindustani classicalmusic. Andhra Pradesh’s musical instrumentation typically includes the sitar (a plucked stringed instrument), tabla (a pair of hand drums), harmonium (a pump-operated keyboard instrument), dholak (a two-sided drum), shehnai(an oboe-like woodwind instrument), flute (a metal or wooden wind instrument), and Mridangam(a percussion instrument). Andhra Pradeshfolk musicians often sing about topics such as love, loss,, social injustice,, human rights,, environmentalism,, and Hindu mythology.,
The History of South Indian Folk Music
The term “folk music” can refer to a wide variety of music from around the world. In this article, we’ll be focusing on the folk music of South India. South Indian folk music has a long and rich history, dating back centuries. The music has been used to express a wide range of emotions, from happiness and love to sadness and loss.
The folk music of South India is one of the oldest musical traditions in the world. The earliest references to South Indian folk music date back to the 2nd century BCE, when the Tamil epic Silappadikaram was written. For centuries, South Indian folk music has been an integral part of the region’s culture.
Today, South Indian folk music is still popular, and it is often performed at religious and cultural festivals. The music is usually accompanied by traditional instruments such as the kuthuvilakku (a type of drum) and the nadaswaram (a type of trumpet).
South Indian folk music has its roots in the ancient Tamil tradition of Sangam literature. This literature contains some of the earliest references to Tamil musical instruments and genres. Sangam literature also mentions many famous South Indian musicians, such as Arunagirinathar and Purandaradasa.
During the medieval period, South Indian folk music was influenced by Carnatic music, which is a classical style that developed in the southern region of India. Carnatic music became popular among the upper classes, while folk music continued to be enjoyed by the general population.
In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in South Indian folk music, and many traditional musicians have begun to perform again. This resurgence has helped to keep alive an important part of South India’s rich cultural heritage.
South Indian folk music has evolved over centuries, blending various musical traditions from across the Indian subcontinent. The earliest form of folk music in South India was known as the Village Musical, which was based on traditional Vedic chants and classical music. This type of music was popular among the rural population and was often performed at religious and festive occasions.
As time went on, influences from North India began to make their way into South Indian folk music, resulting in a more diverse range of styles and genres. One of the most popular genres that emerged during this period was Carnatic music, which is still highly revered in South India today. Another important genre that developed during this time was filmi music, which is based on the soundtracks of Hindi-language films.
Over the past few decades, South Indian folk music has continued to evolve, with new genres and sub-genres emerging all the time. Today, there is a wide range of folk music styles prevalent in South India, each with its own unique history and tradition.
The Instruments of South Indian Folk Music
The Carnatic Veena
The Carnatic Veena, also known as the South Indian Veena, is a plucked string instrument used in Carnatic music, the traditional music of Southern India. The Veena has been a prominent instrument in Indian classical music for over two thousand years, and is considered one of the most important instruments in Carnatic music. The Carnatic Veena is different from its North Indian counterpart, the Hindustani Veena, in both its construction and playing style.
The Carnatic Veena is a large instrument, with a body length of about four feet and a total length of six to seven feet. It has four main strings which are tuned to the pitches of the mridangam (the principal percussion instrument of Carnatic music), and three auxiliary strings which are used for drone and melody. The Carnatic Veena is played with a slide ( called a jiva), which is used to produce glissando effects.
The playing style of the Carnatic Veena is very different from that of the Hindustani Veena. In Hindustani music, the main focus is on melody, while in Carnatic music, the emphasis is on rhythm. This can be seen in the way the two instruments are played: while the Hindustani Veena is played with long sustain and vibrato, the Carnatic Veena is played with short staccato strokes and no vibrato. This difference in playing style reflects the different musical traditions of North and South India: while Hindustani music is more improvised and free-flowing, Carnatic music is more structured and disciplined.
Despite its differences from the Hindustani Veena, the Carnatic Veena remains an important part of Indian classical music tradition. It continues to be used by many leading musicians today, both in India and abroad.
The mridangam is a double-sided barrel drum from South India. It is the primary percussion instrument used in Carnatic music, and has also been adopted in Hindustani music. It is one of the oldest and most prominent musical instruments of the Indian subcontinent, with a history dating back to more than two thousand years.
The mridangam is typically made with a hollowed out piece of jackfruit wood, which is then covered with a skin on each side. The skin on the left side is usually made from cowhide, while the skin on the right side is usually made from buffalo hide. The drumheads are tuned to different pitches using leather straps, which are tightened or loosened as needed.
The mridangam is played with two wooden sticks, which are traditionally made from neem wood. The left stick, which is thicker than the right stick, is used for bass notes, while the right stick is used for treble notes. The sticks are True struck—the left stick on the lower-pitched head and the right stick onhigher-pitched head—and then rebound off the drumskin to produce a characteristic sound.
Mridangams come in various sizes, with the largest drums measuring more than two feet in diameter and weighing more than sixty pounds. Smaller drums are also used, however, and they are typically played by children or by adults who are not strong enough to play a larger drum.
The mridangam has a long and rich history, and it remains an important part of South Indian musical culture today. If you have an opportunity to see a Carnatic music performance, be sure to listen for the Mridangam – you won’t be disappointed!
The kanjira is a South Indian folk instrument. It is a hand drum which is played with the hands and fingers. The kanjira is made from a gourd which is covered with skin. The skin is usually of a goat, but sometimes it can be of a fish or an elephant. The kanjira has two sides, the black side and the white side. The black side is called the valanthalai and the white side is called the idakkai. The kanjira is usually played with the help of a stick. The player beats the valanthalai with the stick and uses his fingers to play the idakkai.
The kanjira is used to accompany many different types of music, including Carnatic music, film music, and folk music. It is also used in Bharatanatyam, a type of Indian classical dance. The kanjira has a very unique sounding tone which really stands out in any type of musical performance.
The Styles of South Indian Folk Music
Folk music is the music of the people and is often passed down from generation to generation. Folk music often has a strong connection to the culture and traditions of the people who create it. South Indian folk music is no different. There are many different styles of South Indian folk music, each with its own unique history and sound.
Bhangra is a folk music genre that originated in the Punjab region of India. The popularity of Bhangra music has grown in recent years, with many Punjab-based bands now touring internationally. The style is characterized by its energy and colorful costumes, and often features traditional Punjabi instruments such as the dhol (a type of drum) and the tumbi (a one-stringed instrument).
Ghazals are found in all parts of India, but the Folk Music of South India has a particularly rich tradition of this style of music. Ghazals are often love songs, and can be either happy or sad in tone. They often tell stories, and are usually sung in a call-and-response style between the singer and the audience.
Folk music is an important part of the cultural heritage of South India. It is a way for people to connect with their heritage and traditions, and to express themselves creatively. Ghazals are just one type of folk music that you can find in South India. If you want to learn more about this rich and diverse musical tradition, be sure to check out the Folk Music of South India website.
Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South India, especially in the state of Kerala. It is also known as Qawalli or Ghazal. It is usually performed by a group of musicians, with one or two lead singers, and is accompanied by percussion and harmonium.
Qawwali is traditionally performed at Sufi shrines, but it has also gained popularity in recent years as a form of entertainment at weddings and other celebrations. The lyrics of Qawwali songs are usually in Urdu or Persian, and often focus on the love of God and the Prophet Muhammad.
The style of Qawwali music is very different from that of other forms of Indian music, and has been influenced by the Sufi traditions of Central Asia and the Middle East. Qawwali songs are typically very fast-paced and rhythmically complex, with a lot of improvised embellishments. This can make them quite challenging to sing, but the results are often very exciting and highly emotional.
The Future of South Indian Folk Music
In a rapidly globalizing India, the future of traditional music forms is often unclear. Will they maintain their place in society, or will they slowly fade away? South Indian folk music is one such tradition that is currently at a crossroads. On one hand, the rise of popular music has led to a decline in the popularity of folk music.
Traditional vs. Modern
There is a growing trend of young people in South India embracing their traditional folk music. However, there is also a trend of modernizing this music to appeal to wider audiences. This has led to a debate about the future of South Indian folk music.
On one side, there are those who believe that the music should remain true to its roots and be passed down from generation to generation in its traditional form. They believe that this is the only way to keep the music alive and preserve its cultural importance.
On the other side, there are those who believe that the music should be modernized in order to stay relevant and appeal to younger audiences. They argue that traditional folk music is not accessible to many people, and that by modernizing it, more people will be able to enjoy it.
What do you think? Should South Indian folk music remain traditional or be modernized?
Preserving the Tradition
With the advent of film and television, South Indian folk music has been in decline. This is because the music is not often used in these mediums, and when it is, it is watered down to make it more commercially viable. While there are still some folk musicians who perform traditional music, they are often not given the same platform or recognition as those who play more modern genres.
This decline has had a negative impact on the preservation of South Indian folk music. With fewer people exposed to the music, there is a danger that it will be forgotten altogether. This would be a shame, as South Indian folk music is a unique and important part of the region’s cultural heritage.
There are some organisations working to preserve South Indian folk music. One such organisation is the Folk Music Society of India, which was founded in 2006. The organisation works to promote folk music and preserve traditional songs and instruments. It also works with government organisations to help ensure that folk musicians have access to subsidies and other forms of support.
The future of South Indian folk music depends on the efforts of organisations like the Folk Music Society of India. If these organisations can raise awareness about the importance of preserving traditional music, then there is a chance that South Indian folklore will be passed down to future generations.
Keyword: The Folk Music of South India