Musical Instruments of Kerala

Musical Instruments of Kerala
Panchavadyam/Source:Napier Museum
Kerala has a rich tration of music. It is not only part of daily life, but also of temple rituals. It can be also said that temples have played a major role in preserving and developing Kerala music over time and most of the tradtional Kerala musical instruments are used in Kerala temple music.

These music instruments are grouped into four categories: Thantri (stringed), Avanadham (percussion or drums), Ghanam (bells, cymbals and gongs), and Sushiram (wind).

List of Kerala Musical Instruments 

Avanadha Vaadhyangal (Membranophones)
  1. Chenda
  2. Veekan Chenda
  3. Shudha Madhalam
  4. Toppi Madhalam
  5. Para
  6. Timila
  7. Idakka
  8. Mizhavu
  9. Udukku
  10. Paani
  11. Idudiviranam
  12. Idamanam
  13. Mridangam
  14. Thudi
  15. Kadumthudi
  16. Arabana
  17. Thappitta
  18. Nakari
  19. Pambavadyam
  20. Panchamukhavadyam
  21. Velathavil
  22. Tabla
  23. Thavil
  24. Dholak
  25. Kudukudupandi
  26. Thamber

Thantri (stringed instruments)
  1. Veena
  2. Nanthuni
  3. Pullonveena
  4. Pulluvakudam
  5. Tampura

Ghanam (idophonic instruments)
  1. Ilathalam
  2. Kuzhithalam
  3. Chengila
  4. Chaplankatta
  5. Haribol

Sushiram (wind instruments)
  1. Sanku
  2. Kombu
  3. Kurumkuzhal
  4. Odakuzhal
  5. Nagaswaram

Panchavadyam
Panchavadyam is an ensemble of five (pancha) instruments (vadyam) namely, kombu, edakka, thimila, ilathalam and maddalam. They hold a major position in the temple music of Kerala.

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