Rajasthan is culturally rich and has extensive tradition in art and culture, which reflects Indian way life. The dance, music and art forms have been watchfully cultivated and patronised by the erstwhile courts. An equally rich and varied folk culture from villages is both fascinating & mesmerising. The music is of uncomplicated innocence and songs depict day-to-day relationships and chores more often focal around bring of water. Rajasthan's cultural tapestry takes in simple folk to highly cultivated classical music and dance in its own distinct style.
Music of Rajasthan
Music sung by women is mostly about water and the style is called panihari. It depicts daily chores and is cantered around the well. In arid area like Rajasthan water is of immense significance. Some of the folk songs also talk about chance encounter with their lover. Some even have snipes at the incorrigible mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Music here, also has strong religious flavour and is sung in dedication to various deities. Some religious songs are folk idioms of Saints, Surdas, Kabirdas, Meerabai and others. These songs are mostly heard in nightlong soirées.
Music traditions are kept alive by entertainer like the Langas, Manganniyars, Mirasis and Dholis. The education in music of these groups began early and passed down from generation to generation. The folk musicians are apt in classical tradition. Songs normally began with an alap, which set the tune of the song and then recital of the couplet that is called the dooba. The songs also have the taan, the pitch and the tibias -the triplet, which lends variance to the tune.
Ballad traditions of Rajasthan are also of great attention. Here bards sing heroic tales of folk heroes like Tejaji, Gogaji and Ramdeoji. They sing and narrate heroic tales of battles and even of legendary lovers and their tragedies. To distinctive category in this tradition are the 'Phad' and the puppetry.
The accompanying instruments are of various varieties to repercussion, string and wind and even common use utilities like bells, thali (metal dishes) and earthen pots.