Thursday, April 26, 2007

Chenda – The Kerala Drum.

Chenda is a percussion drum that is part of Kerala’s culture and tradition. (It is also used in a few other parts of South India.) Many writers seem to consider this instrument as a part of temple festivals. But it is very common at church feasts and other functions as well.

Chenda is made from a cylindrical wooden drum about two feet long. Both ends are covered with hide. The tuning is done by adjusting the tension of the skin and the strings on the sides. The instrument is hung on the neck of the artiste. Only one face of the chenda is beaten, with sticks.

Usually the performances are by a group, but there are solo presentations also. Two popular ensembles are Panchari melam and Pandi melam. Usually the sound of chenda is loud but an expert can play it with great sensitivity.

The photographs below by KO Isaac were taken at my niece Rose’s wedding at Olavipe .







Also see:

Kerala food: Kappa (cassava or casava, yuca, manioc, Manihot esculenta)

6 comments:

Tentacles said...

The reson why i mailed you was, my nephew wanted to learn chenda, as he is doing his 8th standard i guess it is the right time for him to learn, even as i'm more intrested in culture of kerala and karnataka and its traditions, i would like to suggest him the indian kerala percussion (which is most respected in our karnataka also), I need some directions from you that do you suggest any one in bangalore or any schools in bangalore does they teach chenda. Kindly let me know and it will be a great helpful.

Basically I'm a cinematographer and i traveled entire india for many projects for shooting and document the permorming arts, the more which i liked and found was the ethnicity and devotions to the culture, which i found in here with Keralites, Kannadigas, Tamilians And Telanganas. very recently i watched Bhuta Kola In mangalore, it was mind blowing where the used chanda... I was So much impressed and want my nephew to learn this. Kindly help me to know some information. my mail ID is subbalaprasanna@gmail.com

ajay said...

Respected Sir,
The reason iam mailing u is iam interested in listen to kerala melam,will u pls send a link wer can i download music of melams.My mail id is k.ajaykmar@yahoo.com

Jyotessh said...

I am from Bangalore , I wish to know where we can learn Chenda mellam @ bangalore

Please help by mailing the contact details : jyotessh@yahoo.com

gopi said...

Dear Sir,

I'm from Bangalore and I'm very much interested in learning chenda melam.

Kindly suggest me the place here where I can go for weekend classes for Chenda.

I'm from electronic city, Bangalore.

My mail id is prams01@gmail.com
Hope to get a positive response soon.

arun said...

Contact me arun - 9632422300

Yashwanth Hegde Marnad said...

Dear Sir,

I'm from Bangalore and I'm very much interested in learning chenda melam.

Kindly suggest me the place here where I can go for weekend classes for Chenda.

I'm from Koramangala, Bangalore.

My mail id is yashwant.hegde@gmail.com
Cont:-9611854734
Hope to get a positive response soon.

Thanks & With Warm Regards,
Yashwanth