Orissa is regarded as one of the musical centers of South India, that boasts of traveling bards as a part of its heritage. In the ancient times, there were saint-poets who wrote the lyrics of poems and songs that were sung to rouse the religious feelings of people. It was by the eleventh century that the music of Orissa, in the form of Triswari, Chatuhswari, and Panchaswari, underwent transformation and was converted into the classical style.
Sixteenth century witnessed the compilation of literature on music. The
four important treatises written during that time are Sangitamava
Chandrika, Natya Manorama, Sangita Kalalata and Gita Prakasha. Odissi
music is a combination of four distinctive kinds of music, namely,
Chitrapada, Dhruvapada, Panchal and Chitrakala. When music uses artwork,
it is known as Chitikala. A unique feature of Oriya music is the Padi,
which consists of singing of words in fast beat.
Being a part of the rich culture of Orissa, its music is also as much
charming and colorful. Odissi music is more two thousand five hundred
years old and comprises of a number of categories. Of these, the five
broad ones are Tribal Music, Folk Music, Light Music, Light-Classical
Music and Classical Music. Anyone who is trying to understand the
culture of Orissa must take into account its music, which essentially
forms a part of its legacy.