Music has long been a significant part of Indian culture.
The vast cultural diversity of India is reflected in the music of India’s folk music. Music and dance are widespread throughout India, from Punjab’s lively bhangra to Gujarat’s Garba or Karnataka’s Bhavagee.
We must develop empathy for all individuals different from ourselves in order to avoid being evaluated solely based on physical appearance or social status; it will allow us to see beyond what may appear to be ‘differences’ into actual human beings with similar needs to ourselves.
It is considered a great tradition in India to listen to folk music. Farming and other professions are closely related to it, as it evolved to add pleasure to the repetitive daily existence. It is true that folk music is becoming less popular in recent years, but you can still bet that when there isn’t a major festival or celebration, a handful of performers will be performing their traditional songs of joy for all the people nearby who are pleased they came out!
History is a fascinating subject.
Folk music from India has a long history that has been handed down from generation to generation. The earliest documents originate from 1500 BC, during Vedic era, and some experts believe it may even predate India’s founding! Before the emergence of paper in India, folk tunes played a vital role in retaining valuable information. This is reinforced by the fact that while these songs were utilised as a last resort because people had any other means of preserving historical information as it was transmitted down from generation to generation. Folk songs have been used to pass along essential information from generation to generation for generations. Before the development of paper in India, these songs were frequently passed down by oral tradition, making it easier and more easy for learners to identify about their culture’s customs without having access to an original copy. Some groups think that these folklore are so valuable that they should only be taught verbally or with pictures rather than written words since they can alter with time if not kept properly. Folk songs were an important aspect of existence in aboriginal tribes, giving not only amusement but also vital experience and data that could be applied in everyday life.
Indian Folk Music’s Diversification
In India, folk music is a multifaceted beast. It’s been sung and played for years, but depending on the state it comes from, it’s taken on different forms. These songs have ancient origins, having been passed down through storytellers or poets who had to navigate between cultural standards while travelling across huge areas of land with nothing but written words on paper. Folk songs have been developed and performed in many parts of India for millennia. Rabindranath Tagore, a well-known Bengali poet, is one such example. He composed the Bengali “Rabindra Sangeet,” or Tagore Songs, which are still popular throughout South Asia today. Religious leaders such as Adi Shankaracharya used music to spread their messages throughout the country, with song lyrics reaching thousands of people who would not otherwise be exposed to these ideas without hearing them through catchy tunes sung by groups travelling around villages on foot at night while playing instruments and singing loudly about reliabilities. Folk music is one of the most essential components of Indian culture. Folk songs, regardless of where you’re from or what religion your family practises, are a method to preserve history and commemorate tradition. For example, in North India, some well-known types include Punjabi kafis (songs), Sindhi garbasaars (gatherings), and Rajasthani bhajans, which are often sung by women dressed brightly in gold embroidery work while dancing passionately around an earthen pot filled with water that symbolises life itself!
Bihu is an art form that originated in Assam, a rural region in Northeast India. This was originally done by groups of young girls and boys dancing together and swaying back and forth to the music, their hands clasped around each other’s waists. The songs depict various aspects of life, ranging from watching cows graze in farmlands to fantasising about love stories that have never been told before, such as Romeo & Juliette or Unexpected Love Stories:
Nothing ever changes in traditional practise, yet bihugeeti has been revolutionised through synthesis procedures (combining aspects). Some may argue that this dilutes its authenticity by making it too different from what people have come to expect after so many years; nevertheless, others believe that these modifications are beneficial.
Maharashtra – Lavani
Folk music in India has a long history of being firmly ingrained in the culture and society of the country. Lavani, from the Maharashtra area of India, is one such example. It’s more frequently referred to as dance music, with female-sung lyrics set to foot-tapping dholki beats. Surprisingly, numerous classical elements are included into the compositions of this style, making it more more appealing for listeners!
Lavani songs have been utilised frequently in the past during theatrical performances with sensual or socio-politically charged lyrics; they may appear to be simple folk tunes, but due to influences from Indian pop music, they are actually highly complex below their melodies (which we will get back to later).
Bengal – Baul
The Bauls are a Bangladeshi ethnic group who travel by singing songs. Their melodies reverberate through the vast fields, ebbing into the horizon with instruments like Khamak, Ektara, and Dotara. Their lyrics are full of metaphors, and their melodies reverberate through the broad fields, ebbing into the horizon with instruments like Khamak, Ektara, and Dotara.
The baul is derived from the Sanskrit word batul, which means divinely inspired insanity, and is used to sing about philosophy in order to get insight on what it is to be human.
Tamil Nadu’s Naatupura Paatu
Naatapura Paatu is an Indian folk music style that originated in Tamil Nadu. It includes both Gamathisai and Gana sounds, as well as traditional percussion such as the “Maddalam” hand drum and “Thappu” cymbals. The songs usually do not have lyrics, but they are sometimes accompanied with dance performances when played for special occasions such as weddings to give entertainment at social gatherings.
Punjab’s Many Traditional Folk
Punjabi music is one of India’s most lively and effervescent genres. It has been a famous folk style for many years, and Bollywood filmmakers and international musicians frequently adopt it due to its captivating nature. The majority of Punjabi tunes are about love stories or life events that take you on an emotional trip with appealing rhythms that make you want to dance! Traditional Punjabi folk music can be summarised as a lively, contagious spirit that spreads quickly and blindly, but there’s so much more to it than Bhangra (a particular type). Folk romances are especially heartwarming when Jugni, a kind female butterfly who observes all facets of life, narrates them through her own experiences.
This is unlike any other song you’ve ever heard! Its words and songs reflect the storey of this tribe’s history, but it also has a primitive energy that makes it feel like an old friend from another life. The Zeliang people have songs about their ancestors and harvest season, some of which are performed in groups and others which are more private dances with dialogue intermingled between verses sung by one voice alone to portray complicated emotions; all of these remarkable performances will leave you breathless!
Maharahtra – Koli
The Koli are a people that are known for their unique dance and music. Since ancient times, they have been singing about life at sea, with the majority of songs centred on fishing. Though it is most commonly linked with dancing, such as in folk dances such as gatka or kolattam, when hands sway as if rowing an oar, they also sing loud, lively, fast-paced tunes on times other than festivals, when fishermen may be away from home due to a lack of job.
Bengali – Bhatiali
Bengali boatmen sing songs to themselves while travelling and working on the sea. Water is their life, thus it’s only logical that it would play an important role in their lives. Songs often leave you thinking or feeling sad – these aren’t pleasant songs, but rather ones that reflect on what might happen when we’re away from home for too long, alone and without anyone to console us.
The songs generally deal with Prakti-tatva (natural issues), and may include details such as reflections by boatmen who must sometimes spend days at sea before coming home.
Bhatiali music is distinct from Koli music in that it has more flowing melodies while also being restricted.
Rajasthan – Maand
Despite the fact that Maand is traditionally a folk singing style in Rajasthan and is acknowledged as such by classical scholars, it incorporates elements of both folk music and classical music. It’s a great experience for any fan of these arts to listen to this heartfelt sound with its expressive Sarangee scales combined with songs concerning life in Rajasthan that are bursting with their very own nuances- neither totally traditional nor totally art.
Bihar and Uttar Pradesh’s Kajari
Kajari is a folk music form with classical overtones that began in Mirzapur and is popular in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The melody is recognised for being moony and gloomy, and it is sung by ladies during lengthy monsoon days after their partners have been gone for too long. According to legend, during the monsoons, woman -Kajal- missed their spouse so much that she she cried at God’s feet until her cries formed into this beautiful form of Indian Folk Music called ‘kajari’.
Goa – Dulpod:
A genre of Goan folk music known as Dulpod captures the essence of the opulent state. In spite of its roots in Indian tradition, the music is upbeat and uplifting for those without a deep familiarity with the culture. This six by eight count, along with energetic voices, gives a wonderful rhythm that helps listeners to feel at ease within these lyrics about life on the streets or in a jungle-like setting.