Indian Folk Music

India folk music owes its origins to the villages of India. This musical form represents the folklore and lives of the villagers. Indian folk music is classified into its varied types depending on the region of their origination. Here is a list of some of the popular ones that seem to have found global music fans:

  • Bhangra: This folk music hails from the state of Punjab. It is considered the music of celebration with a dance form of the same name. Another musical form that has come from the same region is known as Gidha.
  • Lavani: This belongs to the state of Maharashtra. This variation of folk music is commonly sung by women. Another music type is composed by the fisher folk of the Konkan coastline. This is known as Kohli music.
  • Dandiya: This is a popular folk music that originates from the state of Gujarat. This is a celebratory music form and people dance to these tunes during the festival of Navratri, as well as other celebratory occasions and festivals. Another type of music that comes from this state is that of Gharba.
  • Rajasthani: The state of Rajasthan has global acclaim because of it rich and colorful heritage. In fact most foreigners visiting India, put this state on to their tourist package. The entire state is made up of numerous clans and castes and sub-castes, and each one has created its own peculiar folk music. These include langas, sapera, bhopa, jogi and manganiyar.
  • Bauls: It is the folk music of Bengal that was created by musicians who called themselves bauls.  The term bauls has its roots in the Sanskrit word batul, which means ‘divinely inspired insanity’.


Another form of folk music is the Indian tribal music that originated from the inhabitants of the hilly regions of India. These are still composed amongst the tribals of northeast India and the southern states.

Generally the folk and tribal music was composed and performed in a manner to give a social message or to celebrate a particular occasion such as a festival. It gave the local inhabitants to gather together and enjoy a piece of entertainment.