The voice-drum, music in Tamil Nadu

The Kanjira, a tambourine with a tympanum of minitor-skin and jingles on its frame, is unknown outside concerts of music in Tamil Nadu. Another percussion instrument peculiar to the region is the ghatam, an earthenware pot which, in the hands of a vidwan, achieves a sharp but quiet punctuation in the most complex rhythmic paterns imaginable.

It often accelerates to a series 0f bewilderingly rapid, faultlessly-spaced taps and usually culminates in a resounding slap with the open palms as the ghatam is thrown up and descends in the air. A characteristic of concerts of Carnatic music is the variety of percussion instruments featured, but what is unique to it is the honnakkol, the human voice empoloyed, incredibly but most effectively, as a percussion instrument!

So, much for the language, the music and the dance. Tamil Nadu, like other regions, is rich in popular entertainments, ballads, folk dramas and dances, festivals and public celebrations dear to the heart of the people.Even a mere list of them all would be long, and tell little about them -and there is still much to be said about other features typical of the state.