Sopana Sangeetham

Sri. Vinod Kavalam (Vocal) and Sri. Balussery Krishnadas (Edakka) performed Sopana Sangeetham at Chinmaya Swayambhu Ayyappa Temple.

Sopana Sangeetham by Sri. Vinod Kavalam (Vocal) and Sri. Balussery Krishnadas was performed in the Chinmaya Swayambhu Ayyappa Temple on the evening of  5th July 2019 (Friday) during Arati time at 6.30 pm. Sri.Vinod sang Karuna Cheyvan enthu in Sopanam style and concluded the performance with ‘Yogeendranam’…..of Melpathur’s Bhattathiri’s Narayaneeyam.

Sopana Sangeetham (music) belongs to the temples of Kerala as a unique and indigenous music form.. The music is based on ragas but different from the Carnatic music.

The word ‘Sopanam’ refers to the steps leading to the sanctum sanctorum. So, the Sopanam music also means singing from the side of the temple steps. There is another interpretation also. ‘Sopanam sangeetham’ is similar to the ascending and descending order of raga. Accepting some ‘swaras’ (notes) as permanent and avoiding others completely, the music starts in Vilambitkal (slow tempo) and progresses to its acme and gradually descends. 

Sopana Sangeetham is of two types, ‘Kottipaadi Seva’ and ‘Ranga Sopanam’. ‘Kottipaadi Seva’ is the style in which the Marar strikes the edakka (small hourglass – shaped ethnic drum) standing near the temple-steps at the time of puja (worship). In the beginning a ‘Keerthan’ is sung in praise of the main deity. After that, ‘ashtapadi’ from Jayadeva’s Gita Govindam is sung. Sometimes, on rare occasions, Sivasthuti is also rendered.