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Temple Musical Instruments of Kerala

A. Purushothaman (Editor) L.S. Rajagopalan (Author) A. Harindranath (Editor)

The performing arts of Kerala - Kathakali, Kutiyattam, Mohiniattam, and other forms of dance and drama - occupy a vital space in India’s creative imagination. All these performances move to a music that is supported by Kerala’s indigenous musical instruments - a variety of drums and clappers, as well as a smaller number of pipes and strings.

Quite a few of these instruments are also found associated with rituals and festivities in the temples of Kerala: the Itakka, Chenta, Timila, Milavu, Suddha Maddalam - all membranophones; the aerophones Kurum Kulal and Kompu Vadyam; and Ilattalam, an idiophone. Notes on these instruments by a devoted student of the performing arts of Kerala are put together in this small volume-the first English-language publication on the subject. Illustrations of each instrument accompany the texts.

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About the authors

A. Purushothaman

A. Purushithaman and A. Harindranath grew up in the temple town of Guruvayur in Kerala, watching Krsnattam palys and generally imbibing the culture of the land. They have written on the traditional arts of Kerala, translated writings from Malayalam sources, Photographed performances and propagated them through print and audio-visual media. By profession, A. Purushothaman is  achemical engineer currently working in Mumbai, while A. Harindranath is a professor of physics  at Calcutta.

L.S. Rajagopalan

L.S. Rajagopaln (1922-2008) enjoyed a well deserved reputation as an authority on the traditional theatre and music of Kerala. He studied and explored these arts all his life – in temple precincts, the countryside, and the by-lances of town and city-and sought to unravel their meaning through his writing, lectures, and personal guidance in scholarly fieldwork. Rajagopalan’s special interests lay in Krsnattam, Kutiyattam, kathakali, and the folk music and musical instruments of Kerala. He has also delved deep into the musical aspects of Vedic chanting and Carnatic music.

Rajagopalan’s publications include Women’s Role in Kutiyattam (1997), and Kutiyattam: Preliminaries and Performance (2000). He published articles on Various topics concerning the arts of Kerala, and contributed the entry on Kutiyattam in the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Theatre and Performance (2003) edited by Dennis Kennedy.

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Bibliographic information

Title Temple Musical Instruments of Kerala
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2010
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 9788124605448
length 168p., 9 B/W Illustration8.8” X 5.8”