folk music

10 Folk Music Of India That Exhibits Our Musical Diversity

Importance of Folk Music in India

The folk music of India, the music of the country is the handicraft of the indigenous people and the most moving thing you have ever heard. Every part of the country shows you its soul with its music.  The exotic melodies, the rare instruments, the words, simple but true like life, are something for which they travel to all corners of the country.

For anyone with a taste for the vast amount of folk music in India, here is a list of the best.

1. Bihugeet – Assam

Bihugeet assam- Boseartx

They have the sweetest melodies and poignant lyrics of everyday life. The songs tell us about life on farmland, the picturesque rural Assam, its dreams, aspirations and of course love. Bihugeeti is commonly associated with dance. Bihu, played by a group of girls and boys dressed in their traditional clothes, hug and rock in unison.

Bihu beats are normally very groovy however in a completely tranquil, unwinding manner.

2. Lavani – Maharashtra

Folk music

The people’s song from the western components of the united states of America basically a dance song performed typically to the foot-tapping beats of the dholki. Lavani is a combination of song and dance that is most commonly associated with the state of Maharashtra as well as the surrounding areas in the Konkan or the coastal region.

It aims to take into account various aspects of social life such as politics, religion, romance, etc and present them in a fun way. Over the years, folk music has also influenced Indian pop music.

3. Baul – Bengal

folk music- baul music

Baul is a word derived from the Sanskrit word Batul, which means divinely inspired madness. The lyrics are for the most part filled with philosophical metaphors as the melodies echo through the open fields of rural Bengal and fading on the horizon. Ektara and Dotara are the instruments largely used to play folk music. The Bauls, inspired by Hinduism and Sufism, sing their songs on their way to philosophical enlightenment.

4. Naatupura Paatu – Tamil Nadu

Naatapura Paatu

Naatapura paatu is a very interesting folk music style that originated in Tamil Nadu and is also played in parts of Rajasthan. The music consists of Gamathisai, the folk music of the people, and Gana, the folk music of the city. The songs are usually played with traditional drums and shehnai and are often accompanied by traditional dance performances.

5. Various traditional folk of Punjab

punjabi folk

The most popular folk music from India that Bollywood conquered and even became internationally famous. If you look beyond the commercial aspects, Punjabi is one of the most vibrant styles, with a bubbly and contagious energy that spreads quickly and blindly, but there’s a lot more to it than just bhangra.

Folk romances of Punjab actually stir your heart, especially those with the narrative of Jugni, the pretty female butterfly who obverses numerous components of life.

6. Zeliang – Nagaland

Zeliang – Nagaland

With an incredibly primitive style of music that speaks to the history of Nagaland as well as the romance in the life of the Zeliang tribe, the music has an original essence that you instinctively identify with.

The lyrics range from romance, the stories of ancestors to the songs of the harvest. This folk music is usually performed in groups with dances and dialogues in between.

7. Koli – Maharashtra

Koli – Maharahtra

This is the fisherman’s song. The folk songs explain life at sea while fishing. Koli music is based on dance and therefore the music is essentially associated with its distinctive dance form. They’re mostly loud, lively and fast-paced.

As the song is typically observed via way of means of dance, the actions frequently comprise the sway of hands rowing with an oar, signifying their lifestyles as fishermen.

8. Bhatiali – Bengal

Bhatiali – Bengal

Since Koli is for the fishermen of Maharashtra, Bhatiali is for the boaters of Bengal. However, the lyrics and style of music are different, as is the philosophy. The theme of music deals with Prakti-tatva or the affairs of nature. Music is usually included in flowing melodies.

The songs often leave you feeling melancholy as they describe profound insights into the life of boaters during their lonely journeys far from home.

9. Maand – Rajasthan

Maand – Rajasthan

Although it’s a standard folk singing style in Rajasthan, maand is additionally recognized within classical music. Interestingly, the soulful music with its expressive sarangee scales and lyrics that speak in their own nuances of life in Rajasthan are not considered entirely classical or folk either. However, music is a boon for any art lover and one of the richest folk styles in the country.

10. Kajari – Bihar and Uttar Pradesh

Kajari – Bihar and Uttar Pradesh

Kajari, another style of folk music with classical influences, is believed to have originated in Mirzapur. The music is known to be crazy and melancholy and sung by women during the long, lonely monsoon days when their husbands were absent for too long. It is believed that this young woman, Kajal, missed her husband so much during the monsoons that she wept at the feet of God and her cries eventually became Kajari.


Indrajeet Bose
Indrajeet Bose
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