Music of Sri Lanka can be divided in to seven categories as seen today.


 1) Traditional folk music of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka had traditional folk music from the beginning of its race, which has been enjoyed and developed under the Buddhist environment.They were used by the ordinary people.

2) Local drama music (Kolam/Nadagam/Noorthy)
Kolam music based on law country tunes and it is not a developed form of music, as tunes were not developed. Limited to very few notes about 3~4 and used by the ordinary people for pleasure and entertainments.

Nadagam
music is more developed form of drama influenced from South Indian street drama which was introduced by some South Indian Artists.Phillippu Singho from Negombo in 1824 Performed “Harishchandra Nadagama” in Hnguranketha which was originally written in Telingu language. Later “Maname”, “Sanda kinduru” and few others were introduced. 

C. Don Bastian of Dehiwala introduced Noorthy firstly by looking at Indian dramas and then John De Silva developed it and did Ramayanaya in 1886.

 3) Hindustani classical music (Ragadari  Music)
Ravindranath Tagor visited Sri Lanka with a group in 1934 and performed a drama and laid the foundation stone for “Sri Pali” at Horana and later introduced music, Art and Dancing. His visit to Sri Lanka made a big change and the awareness in the music scene and lot of Sri Lankan started visiting India for higher education.

 4) South Indian classical music (Karnataka Music)
This type of Music can be seen in South India and northern part of Sri Lanka and used by the Tamil community.

 5) Tamil and Hindustani Film music
Sri Lanka did not produced films and had to export from India during the early periods. Music for films such as “Kadawunu Poronduwa”, “Varadunu Kurumanama”, “and Angulimala” and others too copied from Indian film songs. “Rekhawa” produced Sir Lester James Peiris was the first Sri Lankan film produced using Sri Lankan music.

6) Western classical music
British wanted to introduce western music to Sri Lanka during their period of rule from 1815.It was a success and soon Sri Lankan were able to learn the piano as it was not that difficult to learn as Indian music.

7) Sinhala light music 
Some artist visited India to learn music and later stared introducing light music.Ananda Samarakone was the pioneer of this attempt and and He composed National Anthem too. Then Sunil Santha who also did not stick to Hindustani music introduced light music of his own. Please visit http://www.info.lk/music to listen few of them online.
 
Nowadays this is the most popular type of music in Sri Lanka and enriched with the influence of folk music, kolam music, Nadagam music, Noorthy music, Film music, Classical music, Western music and others too. Most of the musician in Sri lanka have come out with their own creations and  become success in this category of music.

 

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