A short cut to master the rhythmic pattern of Indian music
In Indian music, the thalam is the basic rhythmic pattern and the
ragam one of over sixty musical scales, with rules for improvisations. This
poem describes the Panchari thalam, one of the more popular rhythms used
both in music and dance in Kerala. The poem is one among many composed by the
great Malayalam literary wit and genius Kunchan Nambiar (1705-1770), who
tried to collect and codify the various ragams typical of Kerala. The
poet felt that by learning these verses one could master a thalam which
would help even with the steps of dancing. The couple of verses rendered in this
music give an idea of the Panchari thalam and point out their
Kunchan Nambiar is more popular for his innovative satiric art form Ottanthullal
. Ottanthullal reflects his deep sense of social responsibility as it openly
criticised the customs, society, individuals and even the rulers of the times.
The art form is believed to have been created overnight by the poet.
Dr. K. Omanakutty, Department of Music, University of