came to Malwa along with the Marathas in the beginning of the eighteenth
century. The Nirguni Lavani (philosophical) and the Shringari Lavani (erotic)
are the two types which is popular in the south of Nimad. The Panwaras are very
close to the rural population. They are sung in a quick tempo. The purity of the
original tunes of folk music is mostly preserved in the ritualistic and
ceremonial songs of the countryside women. The songs of the folk poet Sukhai of
the Chambal ravines of Bhind and Morena districts are full of verve. The land
adjoining the Braj-speaking zone is rich in love songs. The impact of Braj music
is obvious on the people of Gwalior.
portion of Malwa and Nimad is inhabited by the Adivasis. The songs of the
which accompany their dances and the songs of their festivals and nuptial
ceremonies give a glimpse of the life-pattern they hold. These songs are sung at
an even tempo with regular rise and fall. In most of the songs, meaningless
chants are introduced to fill up the gaps between the lines. The Bhils always
sing in groups. Dancing is inseparable from their music. The only exception is
the Dhak song which is sung with a belief to cure the physical and
mental ailments of a diseased person. They treat this song as very sacred since
the music of the Dhak is supposed to have a magical effect on them. In
Bundelkhand, such songs are sung before Karas Dev, the village deity, whose
associated songs are called Goten. The Banjara songs like the Shri
Maharaj ri Bel and the Rasturavan; the long narrative,
the Gujars and Ahirs; and the Ekadasi, the Chain Singh and other ballads popular
in Malwa have sustaining music.
of the folk-drama called Maanch has a texture of its own. The
beauty of the Maanch, often reveals in its musical dialogues, recited to the
accompaniment of drums.
folk musical modes of Malwa are very much suited to
different occasions. They depend on four to five notes. In rare cases, six notes
are employed. The music of the songs sung at the time of sacrifice or rituals in
remote villages gives rise to an awe, while tunes of the Jhoola songs
clearly convey the swinging motion. The notes of the raga Bhoop are evidently
felt in the Garbi songs of Nimad. All the song types have certain swara-scale.
legends about Raja Bhoj and Bijori, the Kanjar girl and the tale of Balabau have
a peculiar appeal. The devotional music of the Nirguni cult is popular all over
the zone. Love songs like the Naik Banjara and the Ranubai, have soft music. The
agricultural society-born music has a tendency of insertion known in the musical
term as 'Stobha'. This tendency is unfolded in four ways: in Matra stobha, the
syllable insertion; in Varna stobha, the letter insertion; in Shabda stobha, the
word insertion and in Vakya stobha, the sentence insertion. The music of Madhya
Pradesh is not an exception to this mode.