Friday, November 13, 2009

Sri Lankan Music Instrument & Sounds

The dance is based on the sounds produced from various instruments. According to ancient traditions there are five instruments known as "pentaorchestra" or "panch thurya nadaya".

The five kinds of instruments being those instruments played by the bare hand such as drums, Instruments played by hand held sticks such as "Thammettama", Instruments played by bare hands and sticks such as "Dawla", Instruments such as bells, Instruments played by blowing wind such as flutes, thumphet (eastern), etc.

The definitions for these types of instruments vary from the definitions of Indian music, as Sri Lankan instrumentalists have their own definitions brought forward from generation to generation.

Sri Lankan Music History

Our ancestors developed art & sound from nature. This is why cave paintings showed animals and the environment. Music started from imitating the sounds of birds & other wild animals.

The North Indian Music notes of Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da & Ni were supposed to be the imitations of the sounds of Peacock, Cow, Goat, Tern, Kowula, Horse & Elephant.

Music was not only used for entertainment. They got it involved in their day to day life as well. For example, still ‘Pal Kavi’ a form of Folk poetry used in rural arrears when guarding a farmer’s crops.


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