Sopana Sangeetham

Sopana SangeethamSopanam literally means the place surrounding the sanctum-sanctorum of a Temple in Sanskrit. This strain of music is regarded as the sole Classical Music strain native to Kerala Some unique features of this strain of music. It is a Music that proceeds slowly in ascending and descending order of its raga swaras. During ragalapana (recital of raga), the artist treats every note of a raga as its nila (base) and proceeds to the immediate successor note and returns to the starting note to proceed to the next note thus continuing always returning to the starting note. The alapana is slow and tala (beat) bound , and is set to he beats of edakka (a percussion instrument made of skin) , and elathalam (small cymbals), at different speeds with various koorus (permutations) signifying different stages of its exposition. It is marked by a tremor in music, even when straight notes are used


(This is true of most of the ancient systems of music.) The singer usually selects a note as Sthaeebhavam or the overriding emotion of the raga, and uses supporting swaras to create a Bhavam or emotion, and the succeeding notes that do not support it are skipped over. This usually results in either the first half or the second half becoming prominent. It uses Margitalams (a type of beats) which were in vogue before the advent of more modern desi talams (a more modern variety of beats 35 in number).More than fifty instruments can accompany Sopana Sangeetham of which the important ones are chenda (Percussion), edakka(Percussion), chengila(type of cymbals), ilathalam(type of cymbals), maddalam(Percussion), kuzhithalam(type of cymbals), thimila, mantuni, maram, kompu(wind), kuzhal(wind), villu, and shanku(wind)

Watch Sopana Sangeetham (Ashtapathi) video by Sri. Ambalappuzha Vijayakumar

Video 1

Video 2


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