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The history of music in state of Kerala is very rich and long. The language of Malyalam is not used in this folk music. The Carnatic music is more popular in the state of Kerala. From the 9th century CE, the traces of the literature of Malayalam were found in the songs formed. Through this Malayalam language, the importance of the folk music and poetry were established. Various branches were made to develop the music in this region. These branches included the popular music like album songs, filmy songs and Carnatic music like classical one. The music of Chenda Melam is very famous.
Sopanam is the famous music form in Kerala. From the temples of the Kerala, a form of classical music Sopana Sangeetham is derived. Inside the temples at Kalam of kali, the form of Sopanam was developed as a song of religion. With the existence of Gita Govinda written by Jayadeva, the popularity of Sopanam increases. To lead towards the shrine sanctorum, at the holy side, this music of Sopana sangeetham is sung. This song is sung with the combination of an instrument idakka, which is ethnic drum of hourglass shape in addition with the beats created with the metallic gong called chengila. As a hereditary profession, community of Ambalavasi caste that are Pothuval and Marar sung this song. Damodara Marar, Janardhanan Nedungadi, and Neralattu Rama Poduval were some popular singers of sopanam.
Carnatic music is originated from the state of Kerala. The musical exponent are celebrated in Kerala by various legends like Shadkala Govinda Maarar, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Yesudas, Vidwan Gopala Pillai, M.D. Ramanathan, Swati Tirunal, Palgahat Mani Iyer, Eraiumman Thampy, Chertala Gopalan Nair, Neyyatinkara Vasudevan, T.N. Krishnan, T.V. Gopalakrishnan, Mavelikkara Krishnankutty Nair, and Sankaran Namboothiri.  Just to make the music of Carnatic alive, in between the young generation, the child violin wizard Lathira Krishna and P. Unnikrishnan who were the Carnatic vocalist gives their large contribution.
A particular amount of Hindustani music is also very significant in the Kerala. Swati Thirunal who is a Travancore king also give huge contribution towards the music of Hindustan.
Manipravalam is the language having mixture of Sanskrit and Tamil, which is basically used for the Kathakali. Based on the Carnatic music in addition to the use of ragas in various songs, another style of plain note also used known as the style of Sopanam. This style of Kerala is used at the time of birth of Kathakali having its roots from the songs sung in temples. The Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair is the foremost artist. In Kerela near the Shornur Trissu, Kalamandalam is the center for the training of this art in Vallathol Nagar.
As hindustanin music style base, the Muslim community at the region of Malabar developed the music stream of signature. This stream of music includes dance forms of Muslims like kol kali and oppana and the music forms of gazals and mappila pattu. With the use of combination of Arabic and Malayalam language, poetry also is the main part of this portion of music also popularly known as arabimalayalam. In the songs of Mappila, the culture and ethos of Kerala and the West Asia generates with the mixture of tunes. The theme of this kind of music is heroism, religion, love, and satire.
For performing the Ottamthullal art form, the songs of Ottamthullal were originates. The artist of Ottamthullal has to dance and sing with this music. The lyrics used in this form of music were simple to complicated unlike the Kathakali and not as Malayalam.
For the worship of serpent, the pulluvar of Kerala is related. These groups worship the snake as a God deity and sing the songs for them and also do sacrifices. This form is known as the Pulluvan Pattu. This form is done in serpent temples as well as the lower and higher classes also.
The name of the different songs were Sarpam Thullal, Paambum Thullal, Naagam Paatu, and Sarppapaattu that were performed in the snake temples and groves of serpent. The Kalamezhuthu dance and songs are the pain part of this song.
As because of difference in the people, land, climate and occupation, the state of Kerala is very rich in tradition of folk songs.
The tales of the people of Kerala were described in the form of songs named nadanpattu. Through the wisdom of agrestic folk in combination with simple emotions, the song lyrics were evoked. In the folk songs of Kerala, all the aspects were life from the childbirth to the marriage, war, unity of man and woman, religion, harvest season, festivals, mythology and death were summarized. Some popular songs from different communities and castes of Kerala were Vanchipattukal, Mappilapattu, Onapattukal, Mappilapattukal, Vilppattu, and Pallipattukal.
In the Mizhavu and Panchavadyam music of instrument, Kerala served as a heritage individually. In the performances like Koodiyattam and Koothu in the temples, the popular instrument made of clay and copper is used namely Mizhavu or Mizhav. It is covered with leather on narrow mouth resembling a big jar. To play this instrument, hands were used. This instrument is used by the Chakkiyar and Nangiars of community of Ambalavasi Nambiar. As with comparison to the instrument of Sonata, the beat of Mizhavu is unparalleled.
To perform with the variety of instruments, there is a name came in existence called Panchavadyam. The meaning of Panchavadyam states Pancha means five in the language Sanskrit and vadyam means instrument, so Panchavadyam means five instruments that are basically named as Kombu, Edakka, Shudha Madhalam, Timila, and Elathalam. Out of these instruments, Kombu is a trumpet, Elathalam is a cymbal, and Timila, Edakka, and Shudha Madhalam were the type of drums. All these instruments together entertained the listeners. In the central Kerala, this Panchavadyam is a most important part in the festive season held in the temples. At the time of Thrissur Pooram, the largest celebration is held in the temple of Thiruvambadi.
The Instrumental Music
There were different variety of instruments were used in the music of Kerala to make it more attractive such as Dolak, Mridangam, Takil, Udukku, Timila, Chenda, Edakka, and Mizhavu. There were few different instruments named as wind instruments that are named as Mughavina, Nadaswaram, Kombu, and Kuzhal. There were different variety of instruments that were stringed named as Violin, Vina, Sarangi, Tamburu, and Swarabi. For all total festivals in Kerala, the undividable part in all the temples is named as Chendamelam. One of the most unique vadya of the temple is named as 'Thayampaka'. To originate the melodious music, a combination of five instrument named 'Panchavadyam' is used.