Music of Bangladesh

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Music of Bangladesh
Paban Das Baul at Nine Lives concert, 2009.jpg
Genres
Specific forms
Religious music
Ethnic music
Traditional music
Media and performance
Music awards
Music festivals
Music media

Radio

Television

Internet

Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthem Amar Sonar Bangla
Other Chol Chol Chol
Amar Bhaier Rokte Rangano
Regional music
Related areas
Other regions

The music of Bangladesh, also referred to as Bangladeshi 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. In Bangladesh music has served the purpose of documenting the lives of the people and was widely patronized by the rulers.

Classical[edit]

Nazrul sangeet origins from the works of Kazi Nazrul Islam

Bangladeshi classical music is based on modes called ragas (rag, in Bengali). All traditional Bengali music tend to be based on various variations of Hindustani Classical Music.

Folk[edit]

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 Shill 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: mainly inspired by Lalon Fokir and almost exclusively performed by hermits.
  • Bhandari: devotional music from the South (mainly Chittagong).
  • Bhatiali: music of fishermen and boatman, almost always tied by a common raga (mode), sung solo.
  • Bhawaiya: song of bullock-cart drivers of the North (Rangpur).
  • Dhamail: a form of folk music and dance originated in Sylhet, Bangladesh. It is practiced in the erstwhile district of Sylhet in Bangladesh and in areas influenced by the Sylheti culture such as Cachar, parts of Shillong, Karimganj and Hailakandi Districts of Assam, parts of Tripura in India.
  • Ghazal: Popularity of folk music of Sufi genres: introduction of philosophy and religion in music.
  • Gombhira: song (originating in Chapai Nawabganj, in the Northwest) performed with a particular distinctive rhythm and dance with two performers, always personifying a man and his grand father, discussing a topic to raise social awareness.
  • Hason Raja: devotional songs written by a music composer by the name of Hason Raja (from Sylhet, northeastern side of Bangladesh near Assam) that was recently repopularised as dance music.
  • Jari: songs involving musical battle between two groups
  • Jatra Pala: songs associated exclusively with plays (performed on-stage). Usually involves colourful presentations of historical themes.
  • Kirtan: devotional song depicting love of Hindu god Krishno and his (best-known) wife, Radha.
  • Kavigan: poems sung with simple music usually presented on stage as a musical battle between poets.
  • Lalon: best known of all folk songs and the most import subgenre of Baul songs, almost entirely attributed to spiritual writer and composer, Lalon Fokir of Kushtia. He is known to all in West Bengal of India too.(Western Bangladesh, near the border with West Bengal).
  • Sari: sung especially by boatmen. It is often known as workmen's song as well.
  • Shyama Sangeet: a genre of Bengali devotional songs dedicated to the Hindu goddess Shyama or Kali which is a form of supreme universal mother-goddess Durga or parvati. It is also known as Shaktagiti or Durgastuti.[1]

Baul[edit]

Main article: Baul

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.

Adhunik[edit]

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".

Rabindra Sangeet[edit]

Main article: Rabindra Sangeet

Rabindra Sangeet (Bengali: রবীন্দ্রসঙ্গীত Robindro shonggit, Bengali pronunciation: [ɾobind̪ɾo ʃoŋɡit̪]), 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.[2] "Sangeet" means music, "Rabindra Sangeet" means Songs of Rabindra.

Rabindra Sangeet used Indian classical music and traditional folk music as sources.[3]

Nazrul Geeti[edit]

Main article: Nazrul Geeti

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 music and western influence[edit]

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[edit]

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

Rock music[edit]

Main article: Bangladeshi rock

Bangladeshi rock was introduced as a genre by Azam Khan, Souls, Miles, Nagar Baul, Warfaze, RockStrata, LRB and Ark.

Popular Rock Bands
Formed Name Genre Language City of origin
1970 Souls Pop rock Bangla Chittagong
1976 Feedback Rock music Bangla Dhaka
1978 Miles Pop rock Bangla Dhaka
1980 Nagar Baul Hard rock, psychedelic rock Bangla Chittagong
1980s Different Touch Pop rock Bangla Khulna
1984 Warfaze Hard rock, heavy metal music Bangla Chittagong
1985 Rockstrata Heavy Metal Bangla Dhaka
1986 Nova Rock music, Hard rock, Psychedelic rock Bangla Dhaka
1991 Love Runs Blind Alternative rock Bangla Chittagong
1991 Ark Pop rock Bangla Chittagong
1993 Cryptic Fate Progressive metal Bangla Dhaka
1996 Shironamhin Folk music, alternative rock, psychedelic rock Bangla Dhaka
1996 Dalchhut Rock music Bangla Dhaka
1998 Aurthohin Rock music,Heavy Metal Bangla Dhaka
1998 Black Rock music, alternative rock, grunge Bangla Dhaka
1998 Poizon Green Thrash/Power Metal English Dhaka
1999 Artcell Progressive metal, progressive rock Bangla Dhaka
1999 Scarecrow Thrash Metal, metal core Bangla Dhaka
1999 Nemesis Alternative rock Bangla Dhaka
2000 Lalon Rock Bangla Dhaka
2001 Stentorian Hard rock, heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
2001 Vibe Heavy Metal Bangla Dhaka
2001 Satanik Black Metal English Dhaka
2002 Arbovirus Experimental music, alternative rock, Nu metal Bangla Dhaka
2004 Severe Dementia Death Metal English Dhaka
2004 Funeral Anthem Power Metal Bangla Dhaka
2005 Shohortoli Theatrical rock Bangla Dhaka
2006 De-illumination Symphonic rock, symphonic metal Bangla Dhaka
2006 Mechanix Heavy Metal Bangla Dhaka
2006 Powersurge Thrash Metal Bangla Dhaka
2007 Shunno Pop rock Bangla Dhaka

Fusion[edit]

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.

Instruments[edit]

Common instruments are:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shyamasangit". Banglapedia. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Ghosh, p. xiii
  3. ^ Huke, Robert E. (2009). "West Bengal". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2009-10-06.