Sri Lankan Music History
Our ancestors developed art & sound from nature. This
is why cave paintings showed animals and the environment.
Music started from imitating the sounds of birds & other
The North Indian Music notes of Sa, Ri,
Ga, Ma, Pa, Da & Ni were supposed to be the imitations
of the sounds of Peacock, Cow, Goat, Tern, Kowula, Horse &
Music was not only used for entertainment.
They got it involved in their day to day life as well. For
example, still ‘Pal Kavi’ a form of Folk poetry
used in rural arrears when guarding a farmer’s crops.
The dance is based on the
sounds produced from various instruments. According
to ancient traditions there are five instruments known
as "pentaorchestra" or "panch thurya
The five kinds of instruments being those instruments
played by the bare hand such as drums, Instruments played
by hand held sticks such as "Thammettama",
Instruments played by bare hands and sticks such as
"Dawla", Instruments such as bells, Instruments
played by blowing wind such as flutes, thumphet (eastern),
The definitions for these types of instruments vary
from the definitions of Indian music, as Sri Lankan
instrumentalists have their own definitions brought
forward from generation to generation.