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Understanding culture through music

Special Correspondent



RHYTHM OF CULTURE: A scene from a one-day workshop on ethnomusicology at KIRTADS in Kozhikode on Monday. — PHOTO: S. Ramesh Kurup

KOZHIKODE: A one-day workshop on ethnomusicology held on Monday on the campus of the Kerala Institute for Research Training And Development Studies of Scheduled Caste Scheduled Tribes (KIRTADS) brought together musicians of different tribes in Kerala. The Kani tribe from Thiruvananthapuram, the Kattunaickar tribes people from Palakkad and many other indigenous people showcased their very own blend of music.

Also on view were musical instruments used by tribes people. Among the better known music instruments used by tribes in Kerala are the `biruda,' used by Adiyars, Paniyars in Wayanad, `mulam chenda' of the Mavilar community in Kasaragod, `kuzhal,', a popular instrument of many tribal groups, `poraye,' popular among Irulars ,Mudugar and Kurmbar in Palakad district, `thudi,' `dabbatta,' a favourite of the Koragar community, `kidimutti,' popular among the Muthuvan in Idukki and `Kokkara' of the Kani tribes in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts.

Ethnomusicology involves study of music to understand the culture of the people it is identified with. Music is also believed to be packed with ancient wisdom, which is why there is so much interest in studying music of the tribes people.

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