World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Indian folk music

Article Id: WHEBN0003245219
Reproduction Date:

Title: Indian folk music  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pandavani, Folk music, Hindustani classical music, Indian blues, Indian music
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Indian folk music

Music of India
A Lady Playing the Tanpura, ca. 1735 (Rajasthan)
Media and performance
Music awards
Music festivals
Music media
Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthem Jana Gana Mana
Regional music

Indian folk music (Hindi: भारतीय लोक संगीत) is diverse because of India's vast cultural diversity. Though it might be started with devotional songs later it covered each & every part of contemporary human life including psychology, philosophy, anatomy(Deha-Tatva), socio-economic condition, love, day to day living etc. and in many of them you will find deep insight into life. There are numerous eminent bards/saints or Fakirs who had contributed a lot in this field. Few of them are Kabir, Moinuddin Chishti, Lalon Fakir and many more. Main classification can be done based on the regional languages. It has many forms including bhangr, lavani, dandiya and Rajasthani. The arrival of movies and pop music weakened folk music's popularity, but saints and poets to have large musical libraries and traditions to their name, often sung in thumri semi-the folk music of India is dance-oriented.


  • Andhra Pradesh: Madiga Dappu, Mala Jamidika
  • Assam: Bihugeet, Lokageet, Tokarigeet
  • Chhattisgarh: Pandavani
  • Karnataka: Bhavageete, Dollu Kunita, Veeragase
  • Maharashtra: Lavani
  • Punjab: Bhangra
  • Tamil Nadu: Naatupura Paatu
  • West Bengal: Baul, Bhatiali, Bhadu, Bhawayia, Saari
  • Kerala: Pulaya, Paraya,


Bhavageete (literally 'emotion poetry') is a form of expressionist poetry and light music. Most of the poetry sung in this genre pertain to subjects like love, nature, philosophy, etc., and the genre itself is not much different from Ghazals, though Ghazals are bound to a peculiar metre. This genre is quite popular in many parts of India, notably in Karnataka. Bhavageete may be called by different names in other languages.

Kannada Bhavageete draws from the poetry of modern, including Kuvempu, D.R. Bendre, Gopalakrishna Adiga, K.S. Narasimhaswamy, G.S. Shivarudrappa, K. S. Nissar Ahmed, N S Lakshminarayana Bhatta etc. Notable Bhavageete performers include P. Kalinga Rao, Mysore Ananthaswamy, C. Aswath, Shimoga Subbanna, Archana Udupa, Raju Ananthaswamy etc.

Bhangra And Giddha

Bhangra (Punjabi: ਭੰਗੜਾ) is not a form of dance-oriented folk music of Punjab. The present musical style is derived from non traditional musical accompaniment to the riffs of Punjab called by the same name. The female dance of Punjab region is known as Giddha (Punjabi: ਗਿੱਧਾ).


Bihugeet is a traditional folk music of Assam, performed through Bihu dance in the festival of Bihu. The songs have themes of romance, love, nature and incidents. The dance is celebrates in group by young girls and boys.


Lavani is a popular folk form of Maharashtra. Traditionally, the songs are sung by female artists, but male artists may occasionally sing Lavanis. The dance format associated with Lavani is known as Tamasha.This dance format contains the dancer (Tamasha Bai), the helping dancer - Maavshi, The Drummer - Dholki vaala & The Flute Boy - Baasuri Vaala.

Uttarakhandi music

Uttarakhandi folk music had its roots in the lap of nature. The pure and blessed music have the feel and the touch of nature and subjects related to nature. The folk music primarily is related to the festivals, religious traditions, folk stories and simple life of the people of Uttarakhand. Thus the songs of Uttarakhand are a true reflection of the cultural heritage and the way people live their lives in the Himalayas. Musical instruments used in Uttarakhand music include the dhol, damoun, turri, ransingha, dholki, daur, thali, bhankora and masakbhaja. Tabla and harmonium are also used but to a lesser extent. The main languages are Kumaoni and Garhwali.


Dandiya is a dance-oriented folk music that has also been adapted for pop music worldwide, popular in Western India, especially during Navaratri. The present musical style is derived from the traditional musical accompaniment to the folk dance of Dandiya called by the same name.


Pandavani is a folk singing style of musical narration of tales from ancient epic Mahabharata with musical accompaniment and Bhima as hero. This form of folk theatre is popular in the state of Chhattisgarh and in the neighbouring tribal areas of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

Rajasthani music has a diverse collection of musician castes, including langas, sapera, bhopa, jogi and Manganiar.[1]


The Bauls of Bengal were an order of musicians in 18th, 19th and early 20th century India who played a form of music using a khamak, ektara and dotara. The word Baul comes from Sanskrit batul meaning divinely inspired insanity. They are a group of Hindu mystic minstrels. They are thought to have been influenced greatly by the Hindu tantric sect of the Kartabhajas as well as by Sufi sects. Bauls travel in search of the internal ideal, Maner Manush (Man of the Heart).


This type of music was cultured mainly by the oarsmen & fishermen of erstwhile Bengal. There are many opinions regarding the origin of the term Bhatiali. Most popular of them are

  • They use to sing it in the Ebb (Bhata) as in this phase it does not need much effort for rowing
  • It originated from the Bhati area (now in Bangladesh).

One of the most eminent singers is Nirmalendu Chowdhury.


Garba ("song") is sung in honor of Hindu goddesses god during Navratri. They are sung in the honor of god Krishna,Hanuman, Ram, etc.

Dollu Kunita

This is a group dance that is named after the Dollu — the percussion instrument used in the dance. It is performed by the menfolk of the Kuruba community of the North Karnataka area. The group consists of 16 dancers who wear the drum and beat it to rhythms while dancing. The beat is controlled and directed by a leader with cymbals who is positioned in the center. Slow and fast rhythms alternate and group weaves varied patterns.


Kolata/Kolattam is a traditional folk dance of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.[2] Similar to its North Indian counterpart Dandiya Ras, it is performed with coloured sticks and usually involves both men and women dancing together.


Veeragase is a dance folk form prevalent in the state of Karnataka. It is a vigorous dance based on Hindu mythology and involves very intense energy-sapping dance movements. Veeragase is one of the dances demonstrated in the Dasara procession held in Mysore.

Jharkhandi Music

Naatupura Paatu

Naatupura Paatu is Tamil folk music. It consists of Gramathisai (village folk music) and Gana (city folk music). It is also sung in Rajasthan.


  1. ^ manganiyar
  2. ^

External links

  • Indian folk music
  • Indian Folk Art - Music Mystery Of Music, Indian Tribal Music Game
  • Chhattisgarhi Folk Song & Ballad
  • Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay.'Folksong and Classical Song: The Discursive Formation of Dividing Practice'
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.