Indian music – Punjabi traditional, folk and bhangra music

Indian Music

With varieties of music like folk, popular, pop, classical, and much more Indian music is a tradition that has been developed since ages. Indian classic music is categorized into Carnatic and Hindustani music. The Hindustani music has been most popular in the Northern part of India. It has been developed by people mostly residing in the cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, and Varanasi etc. This music has a large influence of Aryan people from the Middle East, including people from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Carnatic music has its main center located in Chennai and popular in the southern part of the country. Among the two types of music, Carnatic is considered to be the purest form of music. Since Brits have in India for more than 100 years Carnatic music has influence of European music with lots of integration of musical concept and instruments. Sangeet is the basis of Indian music. It is a combination of all three forms of arts. The vocal music, the instrumental music and dance.

Punjabi Folk Music

The music played in the Punjab state and its periphery with traditional instruments involved. Folk music is the basis of music from any region and genre. The Punjabi folk music has a number of dance and music associated with the different stages of life. They have music for birth, birthday celebration, marriage, and death. The folk music from Punjab have the music for every moment of life from the happiness to sorrow. Punjabi folk music can be taken as the mirror into the Punjabi traditions, lifestyle and history. The music depicts the hardworking nature of the Punjabi men and the bravery they have shown in the battle field. Like every other folk music tradition, Punjabi folk music has the same reputation of presenting its rich culture, history, celebration, and much more.
Punjabi folk is attached to the people and it is the way of expressing their feelings on different occasion. Not only do Punjabi have folk songs on the life events but they have songs about nature, bravery, romance and festivals as well. The specialty of Punjabi folk music is having songs for each important moments of life. When it comes to marriage the Punjabi folk music has songs and music for different occasion in marriage. There are songs for the bride (suhag), the groom (Ghorhian and Sehra) and rituals of marriage. The bride has a song for her parents asking them to find her better in-laws and home. The songs are of different length and depending on the length of the songs there are description of birde, groom, marriage, family and many more.

  • Folk music for fairs and festivals

The Punjab music industry is one of the richest. They have song related to each festivity. They have songs for change of season called as Lohri and Maghi whereas Visakhi song is for harvesting time. The Punjabi women celebrate the month of Sawan with lots of rituals. The married one come to their parental home and they put on colorful mehendi on their hands. They celebrate and dance with their friends and relatives. The girls dance is called Giddha.

  • Theme of folk songs

Romantic songs: There are a number of Punjabi folk romance songs that are popular among music lovers all over the world. Songs like Jugni, Mahia, Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiban etc. are very popular romantic folk songs from Punjab.

Heroic: These genres of songs are dedicated to the Punjabi heroes like Dulla Bhatti, Raju Rasalu describing their bravery and contribution to the Punjabi history.

Religious: These songs are sung about festival, worships and religious ceremonies. The religious Punjabi folk songs are usually sung with tow traditional instruments; Sarangi and Dhad.

  • Instruments for folk songs

Punjabi singers sing their folk songs unaccompanied or with some musical instruments like dhol, tumbi, dhad, sarangi, gagar, chimta and other traditional Punjabi musical instruments.

Bhangra Music

If one music genre that is popular around the world today and is the signature dance move for any Punjabi around the world than that is Bhangra. Bhangra is actually music and dance form that originated from Punjab in India. It started in the villages of Punjab when Punjabi farmers danced celebrating Visakhi or the Harvest festival. Just a popular dance form in Punjab and Assam in the beginning, now it is popular worldwide. It has gained so much popularity that bhangra is now used in most of Bollywood movies and in different dance shows around the globe.

Dance Moves

Bhangra is popular dance moves that have electrifying music associated with it. The dance moves in bhangra music are fast with high energy. The dancers are dressed with colorful dresses and have a particular pattern of moving their hands and legs. Traditionally this music was the combination of singing with the beat of Dhol drum and ektara. This sound was traditional and folk type. Slowly with time the music has evolved as mixture of classical rock and classical Punjabi music. It is very popular among Punjabi community in the UK, Canada and USA. Bhangra these days has mix of hip hop with classical Punjabi and has attracted pool of listeners who are young and non-Punjabi.

There has been some controversy as there are some people who believe Punjabi folk music is similar to bhangra. But bhangra is different than Punjabi folk music. Bhangra has drum beats and it contains high energy moves and lyrics than folk music. Bhangra is popular around the world with a mix of modern music instruments involved with it.


Indian Traditional Dance Indian Folklore Dance Indico Bhangra Night