Music of Bangladesh

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Music of Bangladesh
BD Dance.jpg
Specific forms
Religious music
Ethnic music
Traditional music
Media and performance
Music awards
Music festivals
Music mediaRadio



Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthem Amar Shonar Bangla
Other Notuner Gaan (National March)
Ekusher Gaan (Ode to the Language Movement )
Regional music
Related areas
Other regions

Bangladesh claims some of the most renowned singers, composers and producers in South Asia. Bangladeshi music spans a wide variety of styles. Music has served the purpose of documenting the lives of the people and was widely patronized by the rulers. It comprises a long tradition of religious and regular song-writing over a period of almost a millennium.

Bangladesh Country in South Asia

Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's 8th-most populous country with a population exceeding 162,951,560 people. In area, it is the 92nd-largest country, spanning 147,570 square kilometres (56,980 sq mi). It shares land borders with India to the west and Myanmar to the east. It is also one of the most densely-populated countries in the world. Dhaka is its capital and largest city, and is also the economic, political and the cultural center of Bangladesh, followed by Chittagong, which has the country's largest port. Bangladesh forms the largest and eastern part of the Bengal region. The country's geography is dominated by the Bengal delta, the largest delta in the world. The country has many rivers and 8,046 km (5,000 mi) of inland waterways. Highlands with evergreen forests are found in the northeastern and southeastern regions of the country. The country also has the longest sea beach and the largest mangrove forest in the world. The country's biodiversity includes a vast array of plants and wildlife, including the endangered Bengal tiger, the national animal.

South Asia Southern region of Asia

South Asia, or Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.


Classical music

Nazrul sangeet origins from the works of Kazi Nazrul Islam Nazrul1.gif
Nazrul sangeet origins from the works of Kazi Nazrul Islam

Ragapradhan Gaan

Bangladeshi classical music is based on modes called ragas . In composing these songs, the melodies of north indian ragas are used. As far as the Charyagiti (9th century), ragas have been used in Bengali music. Jaydev’s Gitagovindam, Padavali Kirtan, Mangal Giti, Shyamasangit, Tappa, Brahma Sangeet and Tagore songs have been inspired by Ragas. The use of north indian ragas in Bangla songs began in 18th Century. [1] This trend gathered momentum during the 19th and 20th century. The pioneers of these trend were Ramnidhi Gupta, Kali Mirza, Raghunath Roy and the founder of the Bishnupur Gharana, Ramshanker Bhattacharya. [2] Nawab of Lakhnau, Wajid Ali Shah played an important role in this trend. He was dethroned by the British empire in 1856 and banished to Metiaburuz, Kolkata. During his 30 year exile, he patronized music, specially dhrupad, tappa, thumri and kheyal. And, thus made a lasting impact on Bangladeshi music. [3] All traditional Bengali music tend to be based on various variations of Hindustani Classical Music. Rabindranath Tagore had a deep appreciation for North Indian ragas, successfully introduced ragas in his songs. He was followed by Dwijendralal Roy, Rajanikanta Sen and Atulprasad Sen. [4] [5] [6] [7]

Kalidas Chattopadhyay(Bengali: কালিদাস চট্টোপাধ্যায়), better known as Kali Mirza, was an 18th-century composer of tappā music in Bengal. A contemporary of Nidhu Babu, he composed over 400 tappās. He received his training in the cities of Delhi and Lucknow. His name, "mirza", comes from the Muslim clothes he often wore.

Wajid Ali Shah Nawab of Awadh

Wajid Ali Shah was the tenth and last Nawab of Awadh, holding the position for 9 years, from 13 February 1847 to 11 February 1856.

Dhrupad is a genre in Hindustani classical music from the Indian subcontinent. It is the oldest style of music major vocal styles associated with Hindustani classical music, Haveli Sangeet and also related to the South Indian Carnatic tradition. It is a Sanskrit name, derived from the words dhruva and pad (verse), a combination that means "pillar". The roots of Dhrupad are ancient, and it is discussed in the Hindu Sanskrit text Natyashastra. It is also described in other ancient and medieval Sanskrit texts, such as chapter 33 of Book 10 in the Bhagavata Purana, where the theories of music and devotional songs for Krishna are summarized.

Folk music

Painting depicting Hason Raja. Hason Raja.jpg
Painting depicting Hason Raja.

Folk has come to occupy the lives of Bangladeshis almost more than any other genre of Bengali music. Among the luminaries of the different folk traditions are Lalon Fokir, Radharaman Dutta, Hason Raja, Khursheed Nurali (Sheerazi), Ramesh Shil, Kari Amir Uddin Ahmed and Abbas Uddin. Folk songs are characterised by simple musical structure and words. Before the advent of radio, entertainment in the rural areas relied on a large extent on stage performances by folk singers. With the arrival of new communication technologies and digital media, many folk songs were modernised and incorporated into modern songs (Adhunik songeet).

Lalon Bengali poet, composer and Baul saint

Lalon also known as Fakir Lalon Shah,Lalon Shah,Lalon Fakir or Mahatma Lalon was a prominent Bengali philosopher, Baul saint, mystic, songwriter, social reformer and thinker from the Indian subcontinent. Regarded as an icon of Bengali culture, he inspired and influenced many poets, social and religious thinkers including Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Allen Ginsberg although he "rejected all distinctions of caste and creed". Widely celebrated as an epitome of religious tolerance, he was also accused of heresy during his lifetime and after his death. In his songs, Lalon envisioned a society where all religions and beliefs would stay in harmony. He founded the institute known as Lalon Akhrah in Cheuriya, about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Kushtia railway station. His disciples dwell mostly in Bangladesh and West Bengal. Every year on the occasion of his death anniversary, thousands of his disciples and followers assemble at Lalon Akhrah, and pay homage to him through celebration and discussion of his songs and philosophy for three days.

Radharaman Dutta (1833–1915), also spelt as Radha Raman Dutta, was an influential Sylheti dhamail music composer and lyricist. A prominent Baul, Dutta's body of work has led him to be considered "the father of dhamal songs"; his music is widely performed by modern Bengali musicians.

Hason Raja Bangladeshi poet

Hason Raja was a Bengali mystic poet and songwriter from Sylhet, Bengal Presidency. His unique style of music made him one of the most prominent figures in Bengali culture.

Folk music can be classified into several subgenres:

Baul intangible cultural heritage

Baul or Bauls are a group of mystic minstrels from West Bangal of India and Bangladesh.There are also some people in the Indian states of Tripura and Assam's Barak Valley. Bauls constitute both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many sects, but their membership mainly consists of Vaishnava Hindus and Sufi Muslims. They can often be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments. Lalon Shah is regarded as the most celebrated Baul saint in history.

Bhandary or Bhandari is a surname found in various Khas communities in India and Nepal. Bhandari means keeper of the "Bhandar" or the treasury. Bhandaris were the protectors of the royal Treasuries across the kingdoms

Chittagong Division Division of Bangladesh

Chittagong Division, officially known as Chattogram Division, is geographically the largest of the eight administrative divisions of Bangladesh. It covers the south-easternmost areas of the country, with a total area of 33,771.18 km2 (13,039.13 sq mi) and a population at the 2011 census of 28,423,019. The administrative division includes mainland Chittagong District, neighbouring districts and the Chittagong Hill Tracts.


Baul is the most commonly known category of Bangladeshi folk songs. It is mostly performed by hermits who are followers of Sufism in Bangladesh. Present day Sufis earn mainly from performing their music. Baul songs incorporate simple words expressing songs with deeper meanings involving creation, society, lifestyle and human emotions. The songs are performed with very little musical support to the main carrier, the vocal. Instruments used include the Ektara ("one-string"), Dotara ("two-strings"), ba(n)shi (country flute made from bamboo) and cymbals. In recent times[ when? ], Baul geeti has lost popularity, due to urbanisation and westernisation.

Sufism, or Taṣawwuf, variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", is mysticism in Islam, "characterized ... [by particular] values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions" which began very early in Islamic history and represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis".

Ektara is a one-stringed musical instrument used in traditional music of Bangladesh, India, Egypt and Pakistan.


The dotara is a two, four, or sometimes five-stringed musical instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent, resembling a sarod. It is commonly used in the Indian states of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, as well as Bangladesh, and is first mentioned in a 14th-century Saptakanda Ramayana. Later, it was adopted by the ascetic cults of Bauls and Fakirs.

রবীন্দ্র সঙ্গীত (Music of Robindra)

Rabindra Sangeet (Bengali : রবীন্দ্রসঙ্গীতRobindro shonggit, Bengali pronunciation:  [ɾobindɾo ʃoŋɡit] ), also known as Tagore Songs, are songs written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore. They have distinctive characteristics in the music of Bengal, popular in India and Bangladesh. [12] "Sangeet" means music, "Rabindra Sangeet" means Songs of Rabindra.

Bengali language Indo-Aryan language mainly spoken in India and Bangladesh

Bengali, also known by its endonym Bangla, is an Indo-Aryan language primarily spoken by the Bengalis in South Asia. It is the official and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh and second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India, behind Hindi. In 2015, 160 million speakers were reported for Bangladesh, and the 2011 Indian census counted another 100 million. With approximately 260–300 million total speakers worldwide, Bengali is the 6th most spoken language by number of native speakers and 7th most spoken language by total number of speakers in the world.

Rabindranath Tagore Bengali poet and philosopher

Rabindranath Tagore, and also known by his sobriquets Gurudev, Kabiguru, and Biswakabi, was a polymath, poet, musician, and artist from the Indian subcontinent. He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of the "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse" of Gitanjali, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal".

Music of Bengal

Bengali music comprises a long tradition of religious and secular song-writing over a period of almost a millennium. Composed with lyrics in the Bengali language, Bengali music spans a wide variety of styles.

Rabindra Sangeet used Indian classical music and traditional folk music as sources. [13]

নজরুল গীতি (Music of Nazrul)

Nazrul Geeti or Nazrul Sangeet, literally "music of Nazrul," are songs written and composed by Kazi Nazrul Islam, a Bengali poet and national poet of Bangladesh and active revolutionary during the Indian Independence Movement. Nazrul Sangeet incorporate revolutionary notions as well as more spiritual, philosophical and romantic themes.

Modern bangla music

Adhunik sangeet literally means "modern songs". Although, to outsiders, this may seems like an ambiguous nomenclature, it has particular motivations.

Bengali music traditionally has been classified mainly by the region of origin and the creators of the musical genre, such as Nazrul geeti (written and composed by Kazi Nazrul Islam), ghombhira (unique to a specific area in Bangladesh), etc. However, this prevented the ability to classify any music that failed to fit into any of the classes. In the period just before Indian independence, several new minor musical genres emerged, mainly in the form of playback songs for movies. A miscellaneous category, Adhunik sangeet, was created, since, at that time, this music was "modern".

Modernisation of Bengali music occurred at different times and, for the most part, independent of western influence. Most notable of these changes were:

Film music

The film industry of Bangladesh supported music by according reverence to classical music while utilizing the western orchestration to support melodies.

Bangladeshi rock music

Bangladeshi rock was introduced in 1972 by singer, songwriter, music composer Nasir Ahmed Apu of Spondan band, pioneer of Bengali pop/rock and re-invented Bengali folk music in Bangladesh. Spondan was founded in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 17 January 1972. Spondan's " Emom Ekta Ma Deana ', " Sritiro Shai pote ajo " songs written, tune and music by Nasir Ahmed Apu, Vocal by Ferdous Wahid, Record label Bangladesh Gramophone company, 1975 are all time hit. Other popular songs created by Nasir Ahmed Apu of Spondan are "Paglar mon Nacchaya", (Vocal by Ferdous Wahid, record label- Dhaka Record, 1974) "Ai Montare Daana mele diechi vocal by Nasir Ahmed Apu (recorded in 1974), Shajiey gujie de more (recorded in 1976) and further more. Uccharon was formed in 1973 and their first released album was "Ore Saleka, and High court er Majhare" vocal by Azam Khan of Uccharon, record label Dhaka Record, 1973. Subsequently, other contributory bands areSouls, Miles, Nagar Baul, Warfaze, RockStrata, LRB and Ark.

1990 || blue birds formed in chittagong first girls band of Bangladesh. their album name was saikat e ekdin 2010 || Bisharjan || Dhaka

Popular Rock Bands
FormedNameGenreLanguageCity of origin
1973 Souls Pop/Rock Bengali Chittagong
Uccharon Dhaka
1972 Spondan
1976 Feedback Rock music
1978 Miles Pop/Rock
1980 Nagar Baul Hard rock, psychedelic rock Chittagong
1980s Different Touch Pop/Rock Khulna
1984 Warfaze Hard rock, heavy metal music Chittagong
1985 Rockstrata Heavy Metal Dhaka
1986 Nova Rock music, Hard rock, Psychedelic rock
1991 Love Runs Blind Alternative rock Chittagong
Ark Pop rock
1993 Cryptic Fate Progressive metal Dhaka
1996 Shironamhin Folk music, alternative rock, psychedelic rock
Dalchhut Rock music
1998 Aurthohin Rock music, Heavy Metal
Black Rock music, alternative rock, grunge
Poizon Green Thrash/Power MetalEnglish
1999 Artcell Progressive metal, progressive rock Bangla
Scarecrow Thrash Metal, metal core
Nemesis Alternative rock
2000 Lalon Rock
2001 Stentorian Hard rock, heavy metal
Vibe Heavy Metal
Satanik Black MetalEnglish
2002 Arbovirus Experimental music, alternative rock, Nu metal Bangla
2004 Severe Dementia Death MetalEnglish
Funeral Anthem Power MetalBangla
2005Shohortoli Theatrical rock
2006 De-illumination Symphonic rock, symphonic metal
Mechanix Heavy Metal
Powersurge Thrash Metal
2007 Shunno Pop rock
Tribe Acid Rock/Metal
Bishorgo Rock Chittagong
Sent Men Revolt Spiritual Thrash, Thrash, Heavy Metal Dhaka
GrooveTrap [14] [15] Funk, R&B, Soul English


Fusion, traditional music with Western instrumentation to revitalize and re-popularize Bengali music. Joler Gaan and Lampost are one of the best popular Fusion bands in Bangladesh. A new growing genre of Bangladesh music is contemporary urban music. The Bangla Youth Project by DJ AKS was one of the first Urban Bangla, RnB/Pop Music album in 2010. Most of the songs contained English and Bengali lyrics. Contemporary Urban music got popularity with the introduction of American and British television channels and Hollywood movies. Recently, there has been an 'Urban Bangla' scene growing in North America, Australia, and in particular the Asian Underground in the United Kingdom where there is also fusion going on between Sylheti music as well. Notable Urban Bangla artists include DJ AKS, Master-D, Shahrar Nizam, Stoic Bliss, Iksy, Char Avell, Bilal Shahid, Fuad, Mumzy Stranger, Redz & Ashboii, Muza and Nish.


Common instruments are:

See also

Related Research Articles

Amar Sonar Bangla Rabindranath Tagore-composed national anthem of Bangladesh

"Amar Sonar Bangla" is the national anthem of Bangladesh. An Ode to Mother Bengal, it was written by Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore in 1905. The melody of the hymn derived from the Baul singer Gagan Harkara's song "Ami Kothay Pabo Tare" set to Dadra Tala.

Kazi Nazrul Islam Bengali poet

Kazi Nazrul Islam was a Bengali poet, writer, musician, anti-colonial revolutionary and the national poet of Bangladesh. Popularly known as Nazrul, he produced a large body of poetry and music with themes that included religious devotion and rebellion against oppression. Nazrul's activism for political and social justice earned him the title of "Rebel Poet". His compositions form the avant-garde genre of Nazrul Sangeet.

Rabindra Sangeet songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindra Sangeet, also known as Tagore Songs, are songs from the Indian subcontinent written and composed by the Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore, winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore was a prolific composer with around 2,230 songs to his credit. The songs have distinctive characteristics in the music of Bengal, popular in India and Bangladesh.

Music of West Bengal

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Culture of Bengal

The Culture of Bengal encompasses the Bengal region in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam's Barak Valley, where the Bengali language is the official and primary language. Bengal has a recorded history of 1,400 years. The Bengali people are its dominant ethnolinguistic tribe. The region has been a historical melting point, blending indigenous traditions with cosmopolitan influences from pan-Indian subcontinental empires. Bengal was the richest part of Medieval India and hosted the Indian subcontinent's most advanced political and cultural centers during the British India.

Shyama Sangeet genre of Bengali devotional songs

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Haramoni is the title of 13-volume collection of Bengali folksongs by Muhammed Mansooruddin. Mansooruddin collected more than 5000 folksongs from different parts of Bengal. He compiled them in a series of volumes and the titled them after the name of a regular section of monthly literary magazine Probashi that was earmarked for publishing folk songs collected from rural areas. Haramoni literally means Lost Jewels.

Shimul Zaman is a Bangladeshi Rabindra Sangeet singer. She was born at Bogra, Bangladesh. Her mother, Tahmina Begumm is a retired School teacher. Her father, Sultan Ali (1935–2007) was a banker under whose tutelage Shimul Zaman's rendezvous with music began at a very early age. She learned eastern Classical and then branched into Nazrul Sangeet and later into Rabindra Sangeet. On the way she received numerous accolade.

Indrani Sen is a Bengali singer who is known for Nazrul geeti and Rabindra Sangeet.The most eminent singer of present time.She has not only mastered rabindra sangeet or nazrulgeeti but also showed her excellence in bhajans, ghazals, modern benali songs, devotional songs and many more generes. Her rendition of hindi rabindra sangeets are too much popular across the country

Fahmida Nabi Bangladeshi musician

Fahmida Nabi is a Bangladeshi singer. She usually vocalize classical and modern-style songs. She also sang songs of Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul. Fahmida Nabi was a judge for the reality music show CloseUp-1 a reality show of popular talent hunt. CloseUp-1 realty show shortly after its introduction the program attained huge popularity among the audience, becoming one of the most watched programs in television. In 2007, she received National Film Award for Best Playback Singer. She also received Channel i Performance Award (2008) and the Meril-Prothom Alo Award (2008). Fahmida Nabi is an ambassador of Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP). She is the daughter of singer Mahmudun Nabi, and the elder sister of singer Samina Chowdhury. Recently she is working as main judge of seylon super singer reality show

Badrunnesa Dalia

Badrunnesa Dalia is an award-winning Bangladeshi Mainstream Nazrul Geeti and Rabindra Sangeet singer, performer and a music teacher. She is noted for her versatility as a multi-genre artist (singer).

National symbols of Bangladesh

The national symbols of the Bangladesh consist of symbols to represent Bangladeshi traditions and ideals that reflect the different aspects of the cultural life and history. Bangladesh has several official national symbols including a historic document, a flag, an emblem, an anthem, memorial towers as well as several national heroes. There are also several other symbols including the national animal, bird, flower and tree.

Muhammad Mansuruddin was a Bengali author, literary critic, essayist, lexicographer and biographer from Bangladesh. He was an authority on folklore and was famous for a huge collection of age-old folk songs, mostly anthologised in thirteen volumes under the title Haramoni. In recognition of his lifelong contribution to folklore collection and research, the Rabindra Bharati University awarded him D.Litt. degree in 1987.

Sudhir Chakraborty Bengali writer

Sudhir Chakravarti is a Bengali educationist and essayist.He has made a vast contribution in Bengal's folk culturer's development and research.He played the lead role in bringing up the folk culture of Bengal in an international platform.


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