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Ilathalam is a traditional musical instrument that keeps time in major Kerala art forms as well as the panchavadyam (the Kerala quintet.) These are cymbal-shaped, thick discs of bell metal, hand-held by loops passed through holes in the middle. Played with the beat, its sounds vary according to the technique adopted. Freely played, it produces a resonating sound while clamping the discs together tightly cuts off the reverberations. Variations depend on the finesse of striking and sliding the discs against each other.

Updated on 16th April, 2015

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