Music from India

Villu Tayambaka

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  • Type


  • Duration


  • Cultures

    Kerala (Malayalee)

  • Shelf mark

    RK DAT 63

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Pazhanayur village, Trissur district, Kerala.

  • Performance occasion


  • Performers

    Jeyan Pooduval (villu drums), Hari Narayanan (villu drums), Rama Chandran Nair (villu drums), Raman Nair (villu drums), Girish Marar (villu drums), Raman Nair (cymbals)

  • Recordist

    Killius, Rolf

  • Description

    The solo drummer, Mr Jeyan Pooduval leads a villu tayambaka named after the bow-shaped instrument ‘villu’. This recording is taken from the beginning of a two-hour long performance. Tayambaka is regarded as the jewel of the improvised styles in Kerala. Tayambaka, usually performed on the cylindrical shaped centa drum, consists of mainly three stages and unifies composed and improvised patterns. The villu is one of the oldest instruments in Kerala and nowadays only rarely used. In former times it was mainly used to accompany vocal genres. The way of playing the instrument is very similar to the way that the Kerala drums idakka and centa are played. The rhythmic cycles are the same as in the tayambaka played with the centa. The solo artist, belonging to the Kerala temple drummer community Pooduval, explains that he is one of few villu players who use the instrument to perform tayambaka. Jeyan is supported on villu by Hari Narayanan, Rama Chandran Nair, Raman Nair and Girish Marar. Raman Nair plays the small bronze cymbals. The artists speak the south Indian language Malayalam.

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