World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Kombu (instrument)

Article Id: WHEBN0003606147
Reproduction Date:

Title: Kombu (instrument)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Panchari melam, Music of Kerala, Indian musical instruments, Kerala Folklore Akademi, Oppana
Collection: Brass Instruments, Indian Musical Instruments, Kerala Music, Tamil Music
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Kombu (instrument)

Kombu (instrument)

Kombu also known as the Kombu Pattu is a wind instrument (a kind of Natural Horn) in Tamil nadu[1][2][3] and Kerala. Usually played along with Panchavadyam, Pandi Melam, Panchari melam etc. This musical instrument is usually seen in south India. The instrument is like a long horn (Kombu in Tamil language).


  • History 1
  • Usage 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Listed one of the Musical instruments used by ancient Tamil people[4][5][6] out in Tirumurai[7][8] dated 6th to 11th century, Sangam Period.

வெல் படைத் தறுகண் வெஞ்சொல் வேட்டுவர் கூட்டம் தோறும்
சில்லரித் துடியும் கொம்பும் சிறு கண் ஆகுளியும் கூடி
கல் எனும் ஒலியின் மேலும் கறங்கிசை அருவி எங்கும் 12.0654


It is one of the few instrumental temple art forms in which the melody instruments dominate. Even this is only partly true, as the C-shaped trumpet, the kombu is regarded as a rhythm instrument by its players, with the function of embellishing the beats of the drums. The kombu can only produce three notes (sa, pa, and higher sa). The genre is played by a group of kombu players (3, 5, 7, or 9), led by the kombu leader. Within a given tala (rhythmic cycle), the leader improvises kombu patterns on the spot to be repeated by the chorus players.

Kumath Raman Nair (2001), the most famous solo kombu artist from Trichur, states that kombu pattu can be played in six talams (beats in brackets): chempata (8), atanta (14), dhruvam (14), chempha (10), anchatantha (16), and thriputa (7). Each cycle is accented with the accompanying ilatalam cymbals. For instance, thriputa talam is played x . x . . x . x . x . x . . (broken down to 14 pulses for diagrammatic presentation), and chempata x . x . x . u . (represented as eight pulses; 'u' indicates a silent beat). Like the other kshetram genres, kombu pattu is played in a steadily increasing tempo with decreasing rhythm units.

From: Killius, Rolf. 2006 ’Ritual Music and Hindu Rituals of Kerala.’ New Delhi: BR Rhythms. ISBN 81-88827-07-X; with author permission

See also


  1. ^ (Tamil)
  2. ^ (Tamil)
  3. ^ (Tamil)
  4. ^ (Tamil)
  5. ^ (Tamil)
  6. ^ (Tamil)
  7. ^ (Tamil)
  8. ^ (Tamil)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.