Kalgi-Tura (kalgi-turA) (ಕಲ್ಗಿ-ತುರಾ
ಲಾವಣಿಗಳು) is a
musical ballad tradition prevalent in
These ballads have a perennial theme. They indulge in prolonged debates about the relative superiority of man and woman. Invariably they arrive at a conclusion that men and women are equal. Some times red is the colour preferred by the tura singer and the kalgi singer opts for black. It could also be a debate between the seed and the tree.
This musical ensemble consists of two groups each consisting of three members. The lead singer stands in front and his companions stand behind him and lend musical and instrumental support. Dappu (Dappu) a percussion instrument is very important for this performance. Tintini (tiMtiNi) a stringed instrument and bronze cymbals also are necessary.
Thematically three stages can be envisaged in a Kalgi-Tura performance. To begin with, there is a debate about the origin of the universe. Relative merits of Gods and Goddesses are discussed in the next stage with anecdotal help from mythology and literature. For instance they may discuss the relative merits of Ganesha and Veerabhadra. The final stage which involves social, economical and financial issues is by far the most popular part of the show.
The composers of these ballads are usually Muslims. These
singer-composers have an unbroken tradition of their own. For instance a singer
named Mullah Hussain traces his origin to bAlE aAheb a saint who lived at
IngaLagi village on the banks of
The ballads or preceded and succeeded by a short song which is either introductory or valedictory as the case may be. They are called ‘saaki’ and ‘khyaali’. Most ballads contain four to six stanzas.