In my previous article I wrote about Africa’s popular but unpleasant Vuvuzela horn that is being blown incessantly at all football matches of FIFA 2010 World Cup. In conclusion I wrote that the general opinion among many players, spectators and commentators is that Vuvuzela is annoying, disturbing and unpleasant. Soon after posting that article I was reminded of our own auspicious and melodious Nadaswaram which looks similar to Vuvuzela but is different in every other aspect.
Nadaswaram is very popular all over South India and it is a part of its classical music. It is called as ‘Mangala Vaaidhyam’. Mangala means auspicious and Vaaidhyam means musical instrument. Nadaswaram is played in pairs accompanied by two drums as can be seen in the pictures below. It is played in Hindu temples, at religious processions, festivals and auspicious occasions like Upanayanam ceremony, and all marriage related functions. In Andhra Pradesh it is popularly called as ‘Sannai Melam’.
The music is very melodious and brings about a very pious and festive atmosphere. Several Thyagaraja Keerthanalu, marriage songs and classical carnatic recitations are rendered by the ‘Sannai Melam’ group. I am providing a ‘youtube’ link at the bottom of this article for you to listen and enjoy. This ‘Sannai Melam’ team is from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada performing at a marriage that took place there. This speaks of its importance and popularity among South Indians wherever they may be in the world.