Today the Miruthangam is most widely used in Caranatic music performances. These performances not only take place in Tamileelam and Southern India but also have gained popularity all around the world.
As the principle rhythmic accompaniment (Pakkavadyam), the Miruthangam has a place of utmost importance, ensuring all of the other artists are keeping their timing in check while providing support to the main artist.
One of the highlights of a modern Caranatic music concert is the percussion ensemble (Thani Avarthanam), where the Miruthangam artist (Miruthangist) and other accompanying percussionists playing such instruments like the Kanjira, Morsing, and Ghatam exchange various complex rhythmic patterns, culminating in a grand finale where the main artist (be it vocalist or instrumentalist) resumes where he or she left off.
Mathalam, the ancestor of the Miruthangam, is used as an accompanying instrument in Koothu (Traditional Tamil dance drama) performances. The Mathalam notably is very different in structure, and tone to the Miruthangam.