Audio | Kota music and musical instruments – Tamil Nadu

Image © Richard K. Wolf
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The focus was on music history, its religious aspects and some unique technical nuances. […]

Kota Drums: The first lecture was by Prof. Richard Wolf of the Harvard University. Richard worked on ‘Of God and Death: Music in Ritual and Everyday Life. A Musical Ethnography of the Kotas of South India’ for his Ph.D. dissertation.

The Kotas are an Adivasi community of less than 2,000 persons, who reside in seven villages on the Nilgiris plateau in Tamil Nadu. They speak their own language, Kota, which broke off from a common ancestor of Tamil and Malayalam at least 2,000 years ago.

They also have an elaborate system of rituals that includes the performance of particular melodies and dances for certain occasions. The main Kota instruments are kol (double reed), tabatk (frame drum or tambattai in Tamil), dobar and kinvar (cylindrical drums) and kob (brass horn).

In his presentation, Richard Wolf presented the outlines of this ritual-musical system and explained some of the challenges Kotas face in learning this repertoire and maintaining it in the face of changing economic circumstances.

Richard was ably assisted by eight male musicians and a female singer from Kota, who demonstrated their music live. He also presented some video clippings. […]

Source: The Hindu : FEATURES / FRIDAY REVIEW, 1 January 2010
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Date Visited: Sun Aug 28 2011 13:59:46 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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