Folk music of Punjab

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Punjabi folk music (Shahmukhi: پنجابی لوک موسیقی Punjabi : ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਲੋਕ ਸੰਗੀਤ or Punjabi Folk) is the traditional music on the traditional musical instruments of the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. [1] [2] There is a great repertoire of music from the time of birth through the different stages of joy and sorrow till death. [3] The folk music invokes the traditions as well as the hardworking nature, bravery and many more things that the people of Punjab get from its gateway-to-India geographical location. Due to the large area with many sub-regions, the folk music has minor lingual differences but invokes the same feelings. The sub-regions, Malwa, Doaba, Majha, Pothohar, and hills areas, have numerous folk songs. [4] Punjabi dance OP Bhangra music which is a genre of Punjabi modern music invented in Britain by the Punjabi diaspora.

Contents

General features of musical style

Rhythm

The rhythm of Punjabi folk music is very simple. [5] unlike the rhythms of Bhangra music which are generally complex

Melody

Some songs like Heer and Mirza are sung using the traditional compositions. Due to the lack of musicianship Punjabi folk genre is committed to re using melodies created hundreds of years ago albeit with new lyricsSome songs like Heer and Mirza are sung using the traditional compositions. Due to the lack of musicianship Punjabi folk


Folk songs

Punjab has folk songs on birth, marriage, funeral, death, love, separation, beauty, social and economical status, village lifestyle, food, nature, bravery, folklores and folktales, folk romances, folk and historical heroes, festivals and many more. [2] The songs of professional castes of Punjab are also included in the folk songs. They can be divided into the following categories:

Occasion for singing

Controversy

Punjabi folk music is associated with a traditional lifestyle and culture. Many of the themes associated with the songs of today, which are mostly relevant in Bhangra songs, involve the promotion of the ills of Punjabi society such as the caste system and substance abuse as well as superstitious beliefs. Many revolutions in Punjab such as the Sikh revolution were in direct opposition of Punjabi folk songs.[ citation needed ]

Life-cycle rituals

A large part of Punjabi folk songs presents the picture of incidents from birth to death [4] relations, relatives also including the songs on other occasions, festivals and fairs. The songs by women represents their soft feelings, nature, hobbies and lower social status in limited circle while the songs by men represents their freedom, strength and hardworking. The folk songs starts from the birth of a child then name ceremony, marriage, relations, relatives and much more. There are many songs on the different stages of a marriage like Suhag, Ghorhian, Sehra, Sithnian. Suhag is related to bride while Ghorhian and Sehra are related to groom. A daughter's feelings have a special place in the Punjabi folk songs in which she address to his father asking to find her a better home, good people (in-laws) and many more. By length and mood, the different kinds of songs includes Suhag, [6] Ghorhian, Bolian, [7] Tappe, [8] Sithnian, [9] Chhand, [10] Heara, Lorian etc. [2] [4]

Fairs and festivals

Every festive occasion has music associated with it. [3] Lohri and Maghi are associated with the change of season while Visakhi is a harvest festival. Men dance Bhangra and women dance Giddha. The month of Sawan is one of great joy for females in which they celebrate the festival of Teeyan. [3] The married ones come back to their parents' home and meet their family and friends and in an open ground they dance Giddha. They wear colorful dresses like Phulkari, and adorn their hands with Mehndi and glass bangles.

Types of textual themes

Romantic

Jugni, Mahia, Tappe, Jindua, Dhola, Kafian, Dohre, Bolian, Sadda, Jhokan and the folk romances of Punjab region like Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiban, Sohni Mahiwal, Sassi Punnun are main folk love songs. [1] [2] [3] Heer and Mirza are sung using traditional compositions.

Heroic

In heroic or bravery, the folk song includes about the Punjabi heroes like Dulla Bhatti, [11] [12] Raja Rasalu, Jagga Jatt, S. Bhagat Singh, S. Udham Singh, Sucha Soorma [13] and Jeona Morh. [4]

Religious

Songs about worship, religious ceremonies and festivals represents the religious feelings.

Sikhism is closely related with music. [3] The sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind, established the singers called Dhadis to sing the Gurbani, Vaars (English: heroic ballads) and other folk genres using the normally two folk instruments, Dhad and Sarangi. [3]

The other religions like Islam have Qawwalis, Naats and Hamds and Hinduism have Bhajans and Punjabi have Punjabi songs and Hindi songs.

List of folk songs

Instruments

Two dhols 2 dhols.jpg
Two dhols

Punjabi singers may sing unaccompanied or along with such traditional instruments as dhol, tumbi, dhadd, sarangi, gharha, gagar, chimta, or algoze, [1] [2] [3] Iktara, Bugchu, Chhaine, Kainchi, Sapp, Kato.

See also

Related Research Articles

Bhaṅgṛā is a type of upbeat popular music associated with the Punjabi diaspora in Britain. The style has its origins in the folk music of Punjab as well as western pop music of the 70s and 80s. Prior to this musical fusion, Bhangra existed only as a dance form in the native Punjab. This British music was unique in that it was not traditional nor did it seek any authenticity. While the traditional folk music of Punjab has a set of melodies that are used by various singers, Bhangra was a form of strict "band culture" in that new melodies were composed for each song. Therefore, the musicians were as important as the singers.

Dhol Double-headed Indian drum

Dhol can refer to any one of a number of similar types of double-headed drum widely used, with regional variations, throughout the Indian subcontinent. Its range of distribution in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan primarily includes northern areas such as the Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Kashmir, Sindh, Assam Valley, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Konkan, Goa, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. The range stretches westward as far as eastern Afghanistan. A related instrument is the dholak or dholki.

Giddha Punjabi womens folk dance

Giddha is a popular folk dance of women in Punjab region of India. The dance is often considered derived from the ancient dance known as the ring dance and is just as energetic as bhangra; at the same time it manages to creatively display feminine grace, elegance and flexibility. It is a highly colourful dance form which has spread to all regions of India. Women perform this dance mainly at festive or social occasions. The dance is accompanied by rhythmic clapping, with a typical traditional folk song performed by elder women in the background.

Music of Punjab

Music of Punjab reflects the traditions of the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, currently divided into two parts: East Punjab and West Punjab. The Punjab has diverse styles of music, ranging from folk and Sufi to classical, notably the Patiala gharana. While this style of music is, obviously, most popular in Punjab, it has seen popularity in many diverse and different areas of the world, such as Southern Ontario.

Lohri Winter folk festival in India

Lohri is a popular winter folk festival celebrated primarily in the Indian Subcontinent. The significance and legends about the Lohri festival are many and these link the festival to the Punjab region. It is believed by many that the festival marks the passing of the winter solstice. Lohri marks the end of winter, and is a traditional welcome of longer days and the sun's journey to the northern hemisphere by Hindus and Sikhs in the northern region of the Indian subcontinent. It is observed the night before Makar Sankranti, also known as Maghi, and according to the solar part of the lunisolar Vikrami calendar and typically falls about the same date every year.

Manmohan Waris is an Indian Punjabi folk/pop singer. He is the elder brother of record producer Sangtar and singer Kamal Heer. Waris is considered one of the most gifted singers of Punjabi folk music.

Tumbi Punjabi musical instrument

The tumbi or toombi, also called a tumba or toomba, is a traditional musical instrument from the Punjab region of the northern Indian subcontinent. The high-pitched, single-string plucking instrument is associated with folk music of Punjab and presently very popular in Western Bhangra music.

Kuldeep Manak was an Indian singer best known for singing a rare genre of Punjabi music, kali, also known by its plural form kalian or kaliyan. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Manak was generally regarded as the best Punjabi singer in the world. His high pitched strong voice was unique, and instantly recognisable. A statue of Manak has been erected in Ludhiana near his residence as a tribute.

Dulla Bhatti

Dulla Bhatti is a folk hero who supposedly came from the Punjab region of medieval India and led a revolt against Mughal rule during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar. He is entirely absent from the recorded history of the time, and the only evidence of his existence comes from Punjabi folk songs.

Punjabi Qisse

A Punjabi Qissa is a tradition of Punjabi language oral story-telling that came to South Asia with the fusion of local people and migrants from the Arabian peninsula and contemporary Iran.

The culture of Punjab encompasses the spoken languages , written literature, cuisine, science, technology, military warfare, architecture, traditions, sacrifices, values and history of the Punjabi people native to the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The term 'Punjabi' can mean both a person who lives in Punjab and also a speaker of the Punjabi language. This name originates from the Persian language 'panj', (five), and 'ab', (water). In Rigvedic times, this area was called Sapta Sindhu or 'Seven Rivers' illustrating the extent of Undivided Punjab. Indus River, and the five other rivers to the south eventually join Indus or merge into it later in the downstream of the Punjab valley. All the rivers start and flow out of the Himalayas. These other five rivers are Jhelum River, Chenab River, Ravi River, Beas River and Sutlej River.

Asa Singh Mastana (1926–1999) was a Punjabi musician and singer, best known for lending his voice to the hit Bollywood film Heer, and singing jugni and Heer-genre of folk songs, which recount the tales of Heer Ranjha by poet Waris Shah. He became popular in the 1940s, by the mid-1960s, when state-run All India Radio started promoting folk musicians, this made him, along with Surinder Kaur and Kuldeep Manak singers of cult status.

Punjabi folklore, more particularly its folksongs, is said to be the autobiography of its people.

Paramjit Singh Sidhu, professionally known as Pami Bai, is an Indian singer, songwriter and Bhangra dancer from Patiala.

Lal Chand Yamla Jatt Indian singer

Lal Chand Yamla Jatt was a noted Indian folk singer in the Punjabi-language. His trademark was his soft strumming of the tumbi and his turban tying style known traditionally as "Turla". Many consider him to be the pinnacle of the Punjabi music and an artist who arguably laid the foundation of contemporary Punjabi music in India.

Punjab, India State in northern India

Punjab is a state in northern India. Forming part of the larger Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, the state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the north and northeast, Haryana to the south and southeast, and Rajasthan to the southwest, by the Indian union territory of Chandigarh to the east, and by Jammu and Kashmir to the north. It is bordered by Punjab, a province of Pakistan to the west. The state covers an area of 50,362 square kilometres, 1.53% of India's total geographical area. It is the 20th-largest Indian state by area. With over 27 million inhabitants, Punjab is the 16th-largest state by population, comprising 23 districts. Punjabi, written in the Gurmukhi script, is the most widely spoken and official language of the state. The main ethnic group are the Punjabis, with Sikhs and Hindus as the dominant religious groups. The state capital is Chandigarh, a union territory and also the capital of the neighbouring state of Haryana. The five tributary rivers of the Indus River from which the region took its name are the Sutlej, Ravi, Beas, Chenab and Jhelum rivers; the Sutlej, Ravi and Beas rivers flow through the Indian Punjab.

Sammi is a traditional dance form originating from the tribal communities of Punjab. The dance is popular in the Sandalbar area of Punjab, Pakistan.

Punjabi folk music has a wide range of traditional musical instruments used in folk music and dances like Bhangra, Giddha etc. Some of the instruments are rare in use and to find even. Here are some best known traditional instruments of the Punjab region used in various cultural activities.

Bhangra (dance) Several types of dance originating from the Punjab region

BhaṅgṛāIPA: [ˈpə̀ŋɡɽaː](listen)) is a type of traditional folk dance of the Indian subcontinent, originating in the Sialkot area of Punjab. It is done in the season of harvesting. In a typical performance, several dancers execute vigorous kicks, leaps, and bends of the body—often with upraised, thrusting arm or shoulder movements—to the accompaniment of short songs called boliyan and, most significantly, to the beat of a dhol. Struck with a heavy beater on one end and with a lighter stick on the other, the dhol imbues the music with a syncopated, swinging rhythmic character that has generally remained the hallmark of bhangra music. An energetic Punjabi dance, bhangra originated with Punjab farmers as a cultural and communal celebration; its modern-day evolution has allowed bhangra to retain its traditional Indian roots, while broadening its reach to include integration into popular music and DJing, group-based competitions, and even exercise and dance programs in schools and studios.

Amar Singh Shaunki, also spelled as Amar Singh Shonki, was a Dhadi singer of Punjab, India. People travelled miles to listen to him.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Pande, Alka (1999). Folk music and musical instruments of Punjab . Mapin Publishers. p.  128. ISBN   1-890206-15-6.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Thind, Karnail Singh (2002). Punjab Da Lok Virsa (reprint ed.). Patiala: Punjabi University. p. 231. ISBN   81-7380-223-8.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "The Music of Punjab". SadaPunjab.com. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੇ ਲੋਕ-ਗੀਤ". sabhyachar.com (in Punjabi). Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  5. Sharma, Manorma (2009). Musical heritage of India. p. 228.
  6. "Punjab heritage comes alive on concluding day". The Tribune . Ludhiana. October 1, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  7. "Power failure hits show". The Tribune . Chandigarh. May 21, 1999. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  8. "Two plays staged". The Tribune . Amritsar. February 19, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  9. Maini, Darshan Singh (1979). Studies in Punjabi poetry. Vikas. p. 158. ISBN   0-7069-0709-4.
  10. Shivnath (1976). History of Dogri literature. Sahitya Akademi. p. 194.
  11. "Lahore's Crumbling Gateways". The Tribune . January 8, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  12. "'Dulla Bhatti' traces heroic deeds of folk character". The Tribune . Amritsar. January 13, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  13. "The all-pervading spirit". The Tribune . January 20, 1999. Retrieved May 22, 2012.

Further reading

Bedi, Sohindar Singh. 1971. Folklore of the Punjab. New Delhi: National Book Trust.
Lybarger, Lowell H. 2011. "Hereditary Musician Groups of Pakistani Punjab." Journal of Punjab Studies 18(1/2).
Nahar Singh. 2011. "Suhāg and Ghoṛīāṅ: Culture's Elucidation in a Female Voice." Journal of Punjab Studies 18(1/2).
Nayyar, Adam. 2000. "Punjab." In The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Vol. 5, South Asia: The Indian Subcontinent, ed. by Allison Arnold. New York; London: Garland.
Nijhawan, Michael. 2006. Dhadi Darbar. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Pande, Alka. 1999. Folk Music & Musical Instruments of Punjab. Middletown, NJ: Grantha Corporation.
Schreffler, Gibb. 2004. "Vernacular Music and Dance of Punjab." Journal of Punjab Studies 11(2).
Schreffler, Gibb. 2011. "Music and Musicians in Punjab." Journal of Punjab Studies 18(1/2).
Schreffler, Gibb. 2011. "Western Punjabi Song Forms: Māhīā and Ḍholā." Journal of Punjab Studies 18(1/2).
Thuhi, Hardial. 2011. "The Folk Dhadi Genre." Trans. by Gibb Schreffler. Journal of Punjab Studies 18(1/2).
Thuhi, Hardial. 2011. "The Tumba-Algoza Ballad Tradition." Trans. by Gibb Schreffler. Journal of Punjab Studies 18(1/2).