Thursday, June 30, 2022
Madhya Pradesh


Folk Music

The Lavani 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.

A large portion of Malwa and Nimad is inhabited by the Adivasis. The songs of the Bhils, 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, Heeda of the Gujars and Ahirs; and the Ekadasi, the Chain Singh and other ballads popular in Malwa have sustaining music.

The 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. 

The 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.

In Malwa, 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.