Both hill and valley people of Manipur are very fond of songs
It is a folk song commonly sung by the Meities in villages when they go to
work in the fields or go for fishing. There is no set system of words and
sentences. The theme is love. The singer adjusts his words and stanzas of
verses of his own to the tune.
Lai Haraoba ishei:
These songs are full of erotic mysticism but the real
meaning is veiled by the use of innocent sounding words. The rhythm of the tune
is its quality. It is sung on the ceremonial occasion at Lai-Haraoba.
This song is accompanied with the music produced through
A Pena is a musical instrument, in which a slender bamboo rod is
attached to the round dry shell of gourd of coconut. The shell is cut out to make a circular opening
which is covered with a thin, hide covering, to make a drum. A string of the
horse tail is fastened from the end of the bamboo rod over the drum. The
adjusting pieces are attached to make the string loose or tight on the bamboo rod.
Another string is fastened to the curved iron rod. To produce music, the bamboo
rod is held in the left hand and the drum shell is pressed against the chest.
The curved iron rod is held in the right hand. The string on the bamboo is
rubbed with that on the curved iron rod. The theme of the song is the love story
Chongba is a tuneful song sung during the Thoubal chongba
dance. The theme of the song is religious.
Nat is a classical music which
is used during the ceremonies such as marriage, Upanayanams etc. In Nat, a particular Raga at a particular occasions is sung.
Gaur Padas are songs in
praise of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Dhob is sung with a large cymbal known as Jhal.
The song is accompanied with the Manipuri style of beating of the drum.
Manohar Sai are the songs named after Manohar Sai who came to Manipur in nineteenth
century. The songs are accompanied with small cymbals called Ramkartal and drum
called Khol. The songs are devotional. Napi Pala is a song sung by women.
It is a devotional song. The
small cymbal called Mandira is used during this song. Khubaishei is a clapping music.
No cymbals are used and the songs are
sung accompanied with the clapping of hands. If the Khubaishei is sung by women
only, then it is called Nupi khubaishei. It is sung in a standing position. Raslila songs are a class by themselves due to their special
thematic approach. The songs carry deep religious essence. The tribal
songs and music have variety and quality.