Chenda is a percussion drum that is part of Kerala’s culture and tradition. (It is also used in a few
other parts of South India.) This instrument as a part of temple festivals.

Chenda is made from a cylindrical wooden drum about two feet long. Both ends are covered with hide. The tuning is done by adjusting the tension of the skin and the strings on the sides. The instrument is hung on the neck of the artiste. Only one face of the chenda is beaten, with sticks.
Usually the performances are by a group, but there are solo presentations also. Two popular ensembles are Panchari melam and Pandi melam. Usually the sound of chenda is loud but an expert can play it with great sensitivity.

It is an indispensable accompaniment for the Kathakali dance form. The Karnataka version,known as chende, is also used in the dance drama known as Yaksha Gana. It has heads on both ends but only one side is played.


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