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.


Classical music

Nazrul sangeet origins from the works of Kazi Nazrul Islam Kazi Nazrul Islam at studio.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 centuries. 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]

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, Shah Abdul Karim, 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).

Folk music can be classified into several subgenres:


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.

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.

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.

শাহ আবদুল করিম (Music of Shah Abdul Karim)

Shah Abdul Karim known as "Baul Samrat" or king of baul music, he has composed over 1600 baul songs, some of his notable songs include Keno Piriti Baraila Re Bondhu, Murshid Dhono He Kemone Chinibo Tomare, Nao Banailo Banailo Re Kon Mestori, Ashi Bole Gelo Bondhu and Mon Mojale Ore Bawla Gaan. He referred to his compositions as Baul Gaan. He holds voice against unfairness, injustice, prejudice and communalism through his writings. Karim portraits Bhati area’s people love, wish and happiness amid the writings. He got inspiration from another legendary musician Fakir Lalon Shah. Karim wrote many spiritual songs including Marfati or Dehatatta. Bangla Academy has translated ten songs of his in the English language. Karim wrote many spiritual songs including Marfati or Dehatatta. Bangla Academy has translated ten songs of his in English.

লালন গীতি (Music of Lalon)

Lalon also known as Fakir Lalon Shah,Lalon Shah,Lalon Fakir. Lalon composed numerous songs and poems, which describe his philosophy. Lalon left no written copies of his songs, which were transmitted orally and only later transcribed by his followers. Also, most of his followers could not read or write either, so few of his songs are found in written form.

Modern Bangla music

Adhunik sangeet literally means "modern songs". Although to outsiders, this may seem 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:

Pop music

The pop music of Bangladesh known as B-pop. It started from the 1970s. It 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 is the first band of Bangladesh. Feedback was formed in 1977, they were a cover band, they played in Hotel Intrercon for ten years from 1987 they started to perform as a bangla pop rock band. The 1990s is called 'The Golden Age of bangali music'. Because in 1990s century there are many notable bands like Souls, Feedback, Miles, Nagar Baul, Warfaze, RockStrata, LRB and Ark became popular for their songs.

Film music

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

deshi 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 are Souls, 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
2007ShunnoPop 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.


Tamak (r.) and Tumdak (l.) - typical drums of the Santhal people, photographed in a village in Dinajpur district, Bangladesh. Tamak and Tumdak 01.jpg
Tamak (r.) and Tumdak (l.) - typical drums of the Santhal people, photographed in a village in Dinajpur district, Bangladesh.

Common instruments are:

See also

Related Research Articles

Amar Sonar Bangla 1905 poem by Rabindranath Tagore and national anthem of Bangladesh

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

Baul intangible cultural heritage

The Baul or Bauls are a group of mystic minstrels of mixed elements of Sufism and Vaishnavism from Bengal region, comprising Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and 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.

Kazi Nazrul Islam National Poet of Bangladesh

Kazi Nazrul Islam was a Bengali poet, writer, musician 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 "Bidrohi Kobi". His compositions form the avant-garde music genre of Nazrul Geeti.

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 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 2,232(approximately) songs to his credit. The songs have distinctive characteristics in the music of Bengal, popular in India and Bangladesh.

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, author, Baul saint, mystic, songwriter, social reformer and thinker in British India. 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".

Music of West Bengal

The music of West Bengal includes multiple indigenous musical genres such as Baul, Bishnupuri Classical, Kirtan, Shyama Sangeet, Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti, Bengali rock. The city of Darjeeling, which has many Nepali people, is a center for Nepali rock, too.

The Culture of Bangladesh is intertwined with the culture of the Bengal region. It has evolved over the centuries encompasses the cultural diversity of several social groups of Bangladesh. The Bengal Renaissance of the 18th early 19th centuries, noted Bengali writers, saints, authors, scientists, researchers, thinkers, music composers, painters, film-makers have played a significant role in the development of Bengali culture. The Bengal Renaissance contained the seeds of a nascent political Indian nationalism was the precursor in many ways to modern Indian artistic cultural expression.

Bengali literature Literature in Bengali language

Bengali literature denotes the body of writings in the Bengali language. Bengali has developed over the course of roughly 1,300 years. The earliest extant work in Bengali literature is the Charyapada, a collection of Buddhist mystic songs dating back to the 10th and 11th centuries, and considered to be written in an ancestor language of Bengali, Assamese, Odia and many other languages belonging to the Eastern branch of the Indo-Aryan languages. The timeline of Bengali literature is divided into three periods − ancient (650-1200), medieval (1200-1800) and modern. Medieval Bengali literature consists of various poetic genres, including Hindu religious scriptures, Islamic epics, Vaishnava texts, translations of Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit texts, and secular texts by Muslim poets. Novels were introduced in the mid-19th century. Other than the Eastern Nagari script, Bengali has been written with different scripts such as the Perso-Arabic and Sylheti Nagri in certain parts of history. Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore was the best known figure of Bengali literature to the world. Kazi Nazrul Islam, notable for his activism and anti-British literature, was described as the Rebel Poet and is now recognised as the National poet of Bangladesh.

Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta is a Bengali musician and exponent of Rabindra Sangeet.

Shayan Chowdhury Arnob Bangladeshi singer-songwriter, musician and record producer

Arnob is a Bangladeshi singer-songwriter, musician, and artist who has been a major figure in the popular culture of Bangladesh. Most of his famous work comes from his early albums, when songs such as "She Je Boshe Ache" (2005) and "Tomar Jonno" (2006) became anthems in the whole country.

Culture of Bengal

The culture of Bengal defines the cultural heritage of the Bengali people native to eastern regions of the Indian subcontinent, mainly what is today 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 considered to be the richest part of Islamic medieval India and during the era of the Bengal Sultanate it was described to be a world major trading nation, while during Mughal times, having triggered the proto-industrialization, its economy was worth 12% of global GDP. As a part of the Bengal Presidency, it also hosted the region's most advanced political and cultural centers during the British rule.

Anusheh Anadil is a Bangladeshi musician, artist, cultural activist, and social entrepreneur. The band 'Bangla' was the first female lead band from Bangladesh that became iconic-ally popular in both Bangldesh and West Bengal (India), for their first album 'Kingkortobbobimuro' (2002). Their rendition of spiritual folk songs, along with their own original songs, became a revolution for bringing the sounds of the village bard into popular culture. They helped popularize the philosophy of Fakir Lalon Shai, as a breath of fresh air, to the urban youth. Bangla's second album 'Prottutponnomotitto' (2005) is a tribute to Fakir Lalon Shai. The album questions religious extremism and corrupt politics by using songs of the insightful mystic. The band 'Bangla' inspired many young musicians from both sides of Bengal to rediscover their roots. Anusheh is also a song writer. She released her solo album 'Rai' in 2012. Songs like 'Ekhon Bodhoy Phul Choranor Pala', 'Amar Moner Manush', 'Tuito Mojar Manush' and 'Dhormo Bujhe Manre Shokha' are some of the popular songs penned and composed by her. Anusheh's rendition of 'Tomar Ghorey Boshot Korey Koyjona', written by Zahid Ahmed, became one of the most popular songs of both Bengals. She was also the first musician in Bangladesh to speak openly about her history with drug abuse and how changing her lifestyle and reconnecting to her roots helped her transcend her addiction.

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.

Fahmida Nabi is a Bangladeshi singer. She usually vocalize classical and modern-style songs. She also sang songs of Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti genre. 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). She served as a judge for the reality television music show CloseUp 1. She is an ambassador of Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP).

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Kamal Dasgupta was a Bangla music director, composer and folk artist. Rāga and Thumri were the main elements of his music. His wife Feroza Begum was a noted Nazrul Sangeet singer. Their second and third sons Hamin Ahmed and Shafin Ahmed are the lead singers with Bangladeshi Band Miles.

National symbols of Bangladesh Paragraph about the national bird of Bangladesh

The national symbols of 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.


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