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Thakil melam - a percussion ensemble

In Kerala, South India, melam is a form of orchestra, or a musical ensemble in which percussion instruments predominate. Thakil melam is a melam where the use of a Thakil, also spelt as Thavil, predominates. It is a two-sided, barrel shaped percussion instrument made of wood and leather. The wood of the jackfruit tree is used for making a Thakil.

Thakil is played by using a stick on one side and capped fingers on the other side. It is mostly played together with the wind instrument naagaswaram and both are considered auspicious. Music lovers appreciate the combination. Thakil is sometimes used together with another instrument, Ilathalam, as well.