Kerala Music and Dance Information

The state of Kerala is home to numerous dance forms and music that enchants every single viewer and listener. Most of the music and dance forms that originated in Kerala are renowned and applauded all over the world. Some of the famous names are listed below:


The word ‘Kathakali’ is a combination of two words “katha + kali” that means ‘story-play'. It is one of the famous dance forms that originated 5000 years ago. The dance form is engrossing and vibrant that depicts drama, dance, music and ritual. It is also one of the earliest theater forms in the entire world.


Also known as Kaliyattam or Thirayattam, Theyyam is one of far-famed dance of Kerala that is a sacred ritual dance especially performed to exalt Goddess Kaali. The term is believed to be a corrupt form of the word 'Daivam', meaning God.


Mohiniyattam, a semi-classical dance form is a blend of Bharathnatyam, Kuchipudi and various Odissi dances. The graceful and colorful dance form depicts the story of an Indian mythical character named Mohini. The solo dance form popular in Kerala is performed on Malayalam as well as Carnatic music.


The word Koodiyattam means “acting together”. Being the earliest classical temple art dramatic form, it was practiced in all the major temples in the 9th century. It is one of the forms of the traditional presentation of Sanskrit drama.

Duffmuttu or Aravanmuttu

Also known as Aravanmuttu, it is a dance that is particular to the Muslim community of the state. The dance form that is accompanied by Arabic music dates back to the times of the Arabs. The dance form got its name from an instrument called duff or tap, which is round percussion instrument covered with hide on one side and produces rhythm.


The land of Kerala is known for its Carnatic, raag - taal based music as well as Sopanam. Music is a vital part of everyday life of the people of Kerala. While the traditional folk songs are sung on some special occasions like childbirth & marriages and Ayyappanpattu and Maripattu are sung in praise of the almighty. While the land is home to numerous musicians who earned huge recognition for their music, the state is also famous for its musical instruments like wind and string instruments, percussions that are played in Kerala.

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