The Maddalaya, used in the operatic folk dramas known as Nadagam, is of South Indian origin. Present day Sri Lankan instrumentalists too employ this instrument, which is prevalent among Indian musicians under the rubric of Suddha Maddalaya, Tamil Drum, Mridangam and Mattalam. The Maddalaya has two diametrically different drum faces. A powdery paste is applied on the left hand face and the other is covered with an oily paste. In a Nadagam two drummers are engaged, one plays the minor beat and the other, the major beats. According to research, the musical system of Maddala playing consists of seven tala, namely Pasan, Kadinam Pasan, Kobehara Pasan, Vadimudi, Tirlana, Thangapatta and Tillana Keertanam.