Many poems in the Sangam literature have mentioned about the different types of
musical instruments like the Seerkazhi that is a stringed device of the Veena
kind and other kinds of percussion instruments like the Muzham or Murassu. The
work Pattupattu has a description about the Yaazh, which is a stringed musical
instrument. There used to be two kinds of Yaazh, the Periyaazh which means large Yaazh that had 21 strings and its most compact version Siriyaazh which had only
about seven strings.
The flute is considered to be the most popular wind musical instrument right
from the Sangam Age. There is a mention of the process of making flute in one of
the famous Pattupattu anthologies. Then there is the Kurincippattu, which was
played by the shepherds. The other wind instrument was called Pili or a small
trumpet and Kanvidutumbu which is a larger flute.
The drum or the Murasu is the most famous percussion instrument of Tamil Music. This used to be played during the festivals and conveyed a note of gaiety and joy.
The notes “sa-ri-ga-ma-pa-da-ni” of the classical Tamil music used to be known by different names in Tamil. Raaga defines the inset mood of the Indian classical music. Maduraikanchi often refers to women who sing the Sevvazhi pann to seek God’s mercy during labour and childbirth. In the famous work Tolkappiyam, the five landscapes of Sangam literature describes the mood which combines with that particular landscape.
The Sangam literature describes the mood of poems sung and describes human emotions. When describing about romance and life, the singers and poets that are employed in the background of that natural landscape use the pann which is specific to that particular landscape to originate the mood. Similarly, the neithal landscape that is often employed to convey sadness of separation of lovers is associated with the sevvazhi pann which expresses sympathy.