Mappilapattu originated during 17th century in Kerala. These songs depict Muslim culture within the lyrics. Mapilas of Malabar give identity to Mappilapattu. The first known Mappilapattu is “Muhyidheen Mala” composed during 1607 AD by Quadi Mohammed. Over the centuries, various types of Mappilapattu got life from religious to marriage related songs. Nowadays Mappilapattu is written on themes like devotion, romance, marriage, journeys etc. The speciality about Mappilapattu is its beat and composition. It is almost similar and includes an Arabic touch to the songs as well. Words from Malayalam, Persian, Hindi, Arabic, and Tamil are often used in Mappilapattu giving more prominence to Malayalam. It is really an integral part in musical heritage of Malayalam. The different genre of Mappilapattu is Mala during 17th century, Kissa genre during 18th century, and the Pada pattu genre during 19th and 20th century.
The Mala genre includes songs with Arabic/Malayalam mix. These songs were written on spiritual themes mainly for praising Sufi saints and heroes of those times. The Kissa genre songs include songs with stories of prophet of Islam. Kappa Pattu is an example for this genre. Pada Pattu songs were written mainly during British rule in India. It can be classified into Islamic history, Mapila history, Fictional songs etc. Still Mappilapattu is one of the important parts of music form or type in Kerala.
Mappilapattuis sung during wedding ceremonies, oppana pattu is a kind of Mappilapattu. In order to give gratitude to the renowned Mappilapattuartists various institutions have been constructed.
For remembering Moideen Kutty Vaidyar, in 1999 Vaidyar Smarakam was build and inaugurated at the birth place of Moideen Kutty Vaidyar. Now there are certificate courses in Mappilapattu. Kerala Mapila Kala Academy was build and opened to public from 2001. The Academy gives out awards for Mappilapattu artists yearly. Thus being a vital part in Mappilapattu field. Major personalities in Mappilapattu include Moideen Kutty Vaidyar, Pulikottil Hyder , K.T Moideen , Kassim , Pakkar . Major Mappilapattu musicians include A.T Ummer, Abooty etc . Major singers include Vilayil Faseela, Abdul Khader etc.
Moideen Kutty Vaidyar was born to an Ayurvedic Family. He composed Bedarul Munir – Husnul Jamal, a romantic kind of Mapila songs. He was very proficient in Arabic and Sanskrit languages. Pulikottil Hyder was a much popular poet who wrote short poems against social evils involving arabi and Malayalam mix up language. Kozhikode Abdul Khader is a prominent name in the Mappilapattu singers list. He was admired by great musicians like V. Dakshinamoorthi , Baburaj etc. Vilayil Fazila is a renowned Mappilapattu singer. She is a converted muslim. She was guided in Mappilapattu by V.M Kutty, a well known singer of Mapila pattu. A.T Ummer was prominent among Mappilapattu composers. He was a music composer in Malayalam film industry as well.
Mappilapattu is a “Cultural Fountain of a bygone age “as mentioned by Shri Vasudevan Nair during the award ceremony for Mappilapattu artists by Kerala Mappilapattu Academy.
Mappilapattu is still alive and various reality shows have arrived giving thrust to Mappilapattu songs namely “Putturumal“ in Kairali T.V. Mappilapattu has a special place in Malayalam Music.