Like most other south Indian states, traditional music of Kerala is essentially carnatic. It is based on musical compositions called Kritis. The Kriti is a whole concert performed by an ensemble of the tambura, mridangam, ghatam, ganjira, violin and the morsing.
Sopanam, a raga-based rendition, accompanies Kathakali performances.
Melam, a performance centered round temple festivals, comprises of a percussion ensemble of about 150 musicians.
Panchavadyam, a traditional temple music that accompanies elephant pageants, is another form of percussion ensemble whose orchestra comprises of 100 musicians, using 5 native instruments.
ative performing arts include kathakali (a dance-drama theatre) and its offshoot Kerala Natanam, Koodiyattom (an ancient classical theatre), Koothu (standup comedy), mohiniaaatam (sensual and elegant dance of the enchantress), thullal (social satire), padayani ( a temple-centered folk art form) and theyyam (a ritual dance).