Music from India

Cettia Vadyam

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  • Type


  • Duration


  • Cultures

    Kerala (Malayalee)

  • Shelf mark

    RK DAT 62

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Edakkunny village, Kerala.

  • Performance occasion


  • Performers

    Rajappan (leader), Chandran (thappu), Many (thappu), Thankappan (group leader), Baiju PT (centa), Sumesh (centa)

  • Recordist

    Killius, Rolf

  • Description

    Cettia vadyam is a very ancient percussion music ensemble featuring the centa and thappe drums and the ilatalam cymbals. The music is related to the agricultural year (e.g. sowing, weeding, planting and harvesting of rice) and was therefore prominent within the rice farming and labouring communities of Kerala. It has an eight-beat rhythmic cycle. The cylindrical centa is the most famous drum in Kerala. The thappu frame drum, with a single drum head, is the leading instrument in cettia vadyam and the players dance while playing. The thappu players and dancers: Rajappan (leader), Chandran, and Many. Centa players: Thankappan (group leader) and Baiju PT. Ilatalam players: Ayyappan MS and Sumesh. The artists belong to the Kerala/Malayalee community and speak the south Indian language Malayalam.

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