The Colorful History of Kabali Songs Tamilanda.


What is kabali songs tamilanda?

Kabali songs tamilanda is a type of Tamil folk song that originated in the Tamils regions of southern India. It was traditionally performed in rural areas, primarily by men to women who were gathered for a special occasion or for work. The lyrics are based on the many man-woman relationships that existed in these households and it is also called “aalapaattu.” 

Aalapaattu songs used to be popular all over Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and South India until the 1940s when Tamil cinema culture took firm hold of Southern Indian society. Soon, kabali songs were heard only on the silver screen. But unlike typical cinema dialogues, kabali songs contain a great deal of meaning and poetic imagery. From a purely musical standpoint, kabali songs are comparable in quality to other folk ballads such as “Cavalier” or the “Gaelic Love Song.” Many of these songs lack the simple melody found in pop music.

When are these songs played?

Kabali songs have been played at weddings, on festival days and during other special occasions. Their use as a musical accompaniment for different activities has resulted in a wide variety of forms. Kabali songs are also sung during religious gatherings, particularly at the time of Kali Pooja and Thiruvathira. Even today, some kabali songs are still sung to accompany the ritualistic lighting of lamps or oil lamps during festivities, such as on Poosam day (year-end).

The history of kabali music dates back to the 9th century. In this period, Tamil Sangam literature refers to “kalivasakkili” (a type of kabali song) as one of the eight dance styles used in Bharata Natyam. Kavisya Thakkural mentions kaliva-sakkili as one of four special types of dance that belonged to the “pathitipathis” (“elemental paths”) of Bharata Natyam. In addition, kalivasakkili is mentioned in “Naatukaippattu” (“The Songs of the Eight Melodious Pairs”), a collection of poems written by Manikka Alvar who lived between 1450-1580.

Who sings the song?

Kabali songs are generally sung by groups such as five or more men who play a harmonium (called a poorakkaya) and sing together. This type of ensemble is known as an “ayudhai. Sometimes the group may include one or two percussion instruments, such as a drum. The actual number of players in any given ensemble will depend on the specific type of kabali song being played. Most kabali songs are only sung and not played on instruments.

For example, the Kutravan song is sung during vallam kali dance performances to compound the steady rhythm of the dancers’ boat-like oars and oar locks. In this case, each boat has its own ayudhai group that follows directly behind it playing an assortment of songs based on their own rhythm and beat rather than in harmony with other boats.

On the other hand, the “tiruvatirai” kabali songs are usually sung during separate performances from house to house. These songs are performed along with a musical instrument such as a drum (called karumai) which adds a distinctive beat that emphasizes the rhythm of the song.

Who were some of the composers of kabali songs?

Kabali song composers often sing their own melodies, exhibiting their own skill in poetry and music. Recently there has been an effort to preserve these historic songs, to collect and publish them so that they will not be lost through time.

Some more facts:

Among the best-known of these composers is Aandaal, who lived in the 18th century. He was a member of the Alagiya Singar group, which was named after its leader Singar, who lived in Tirunelveli (or Telliavulai) near Madurai. These composers not only produced songs for Sadir and other art forms, but also went on to compose theater plays as well as command performances before British rulers.

It is said that Anandaal composed more than 500 kabali songs during his lifetime. His most famous work is “Sirasankattuvadha Kudeeran. “Some of the most popular kabali songs are: “Velli Karpan,” “Marapadiyil Vazhiyin Siva,” “Kadarkarai Theerthathu,” and “Aurangkaavi”.

Things to know more about it:

“Sirasankattuvadha Kudeeran is an evocative tale of a woodcutter who falls in love with a beautiful woman. But his attempts to court her are thwarted by her father who has another suitor in mind for his daughter. Kudeeran, the closest friend of the woodcutter, is also in love with this girl, but he remains silent about it. The father, who is a ruthless man, turns out to be the villain of this story. He is an atheist who publicly humiliates his daughter as a way to punish her for loving Kudeeran. In the end, however, he helps them find their happiness.

Anandaal’s most famous composition is “Marapadiyil Vazhiyin Siva,” or “The Story of Marapadiyangar Siva.” In this story, it is revealed by a wise old man at a graveyard that Siva is actually a woman who has been falsely condemned for the damaging and unforgivable act of drowning all the women in her village.


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