Sri Lankan folk music is rhythmic, layered and lilting. It combines the beat of the drum with the chink of tiny cymbals, and the call of the flute with the crescendo of a strong pair of lungs. This pulsing music is made by a whole host of traditional instruments, which are in turn made with local materials using traditional methods. Small though they are, the thalampata play a crucial role in Sri Lankan dance. These small cymbals, joined together with a string, beat out complex rhythms in traditional Kandyan dance. The thalampata typically makes two sounds – ‘thith’ and ‘thei’, which chime to the shake of a dancer’s body.