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Shubhyatra >> Madhya Pradesh Yatra >> Music & Dance


Popular Gharanas : Senia Gharana, Gwalior Gharana
Popular Musical Instruments : Wind, Percussion, Autophonic
Tribal Dances : Drum Dance, Marriage Dance
Famous Legends : Tansen and Baiju Bawra
Culture Dance at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh
Dance Culture at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh

Folk Music and Dance of the Tribals

The population of Madhya Pradesh is dominant by the tribals in the region, so it is inevitable that the folk and traditional music and danced will revolve around the beliefs of these tribes. However different forms of music do coexist harmoniously. The music of Madhya Pradesh can be bifurcated in three dominant forms- Tribal, Countryside music and Bhakti Cult. Though tribal music is richest, countryside music is reflected in legendary narratives, work son and occupational songs. Bhakti Clut music comprises Bhajans, lyrics of great poets and devotional songs.

The Jingalala of the Tribes

The pedigree tribals that exist here seem to be convert their life in ceaseless rhythm as they have songs for all occasions. What is more fascinating is their approach towards their life and the way they enjoy every bit of it. You will be baffled to see them creating music with anything and everything. The list may include various instruments and the list can also be parenthetically including weird items like, leaves, barks, pots and even animal horns. Each tribal community has their own denomination of the rhythm. The Bastar community as a specimen has a typical kind of music that revolves around the use of dried pod of a tree and the music generated is bewitching. The artisans, blacksmiths, farmers are the untrained yet ingenious composers of the tribal music.
Relo, a special Muria song of the Bastar community is sing on every occasion. The Gooning music is synonym with the Abujhmar tribe, while the music of the Bhils and Hill Maria tribes are eloquent of short scales. There are variety of songs that can be cataloged in the music book of all occasions.

The Music of the Gharanas

This land saw the birth of two great singers of history – Tansen and Baiju Bawra. Baiju Bawra created a niche for himself in Persian and sung in Mughal king Humayun's court, while Tansen who can succeded him and became an ardent singer in Akbar's court.

Senia – The Tansen Gharana

Madhya Pradesh saw the rise of two major Gharanas of music that was born and nurtured on the very land. Tansen, who was one of the nine jewel in king Akbar's court, is considered to be a maestro and the pillar of music in Madhya Pradesh. His death marked the beginning of a music Gharana called Senia Gharana, by his son and son-in-law. Though transformed with the passage with time, this music has not lost its essence and still continues to thrive in the hearts of the classical singers. The Dhrupad for of singing which is synonym with Tansen is still practiced with full fervidness and vigour.

Sadhus in Orcha Playing Music
Sadhus in Orcha Playing Music

Gwalior Gharana of Music

Dhrupad is the most famous rag of the Gwalior ghrrana. Started by Natthan Peerbaksh and his two grandsons Haddu Khan and Hassu Khan, this form of music forged in the 19th century. Gwalior was blessed with the chance to breed this form of singin which requires voice production that is full throated yet crisp and clear. It begins on a low note and slowly gains momentum. Well-knit, tanas, that are compositions with abstruse phrases are depleted skillfully in multifarious speeds. The two most important forms of this gharana are the Tappa and Tarana. Tappa, with its quick and short phraes, speaks about the love of camel drivers of Northwest India. Tappa on the other hand compositional works that include the use of words like ri, na, ta, drum and diri. Uttered exclusively in Sanskrit this is a very difficult form of music.

Instruments that Create the Folkie Effect

Rhythm and Musical instrument are complimentary to each other as without one the other cannot possibly survive for long. Some of the important instruments that these tribes use to create the hullabaloo magic are wind instruments, Percussion Instruments, Autophonic Instruments and Simple Stick Music.

Wind Instruments

The tribals are very simple people who love to keep production of their music to the most uncomplicated as well. The flutes and trumpets played on special occasions are of the most simplest kind. The Singha, which is the horn of an animal is the fist ever aerophonic instrument. Some of the other wind instruments include Ansingha an S-shaped trumpet made of brass, copper or silver, Pungi that is used by the snake charmers. Binnoor, a horn shaped instrument is used especially by the Marias while Mohuri is played by practically all the communities.

Percussion Instruments

Fundamentally comprising of drums these are played on special occasions. However, there are varieties in this as well. Khanjari, a small hand drum, that exploits the thumb, fingers, palm and knuckles, produces number of sounds. The conical shaped clay shell called as Madal belong to the category of cow shaped drums. The most popular among them all are the Dhol that gives out a thunderous roar. Pakhawaj is another asymmetrical drum is an integral part of classical music and is played with both hands.

Autophonic Instruments

The most aboriginal kind of music produced by the tribals is perhaps the pieces of wood called as clappers. Tapri, a hollow primitive instrument is primarily used to locate the cattle. Chatkula another clapper is jangled by the Saila dancers and Korku tribals. Gonds in the tribal district of Mandala play a typical bamboo rattle known as the Khirki. the most aboriginal kind of music produced by the tribals is perhaps the pieces of wood called as clappers. Tapri, a hollow primitive instrument is primarily used to locate the cattle. Chatkula another clapper is jangled by the Saila dancers and Korku tribals. Gonds in the tribal district of Mandala play a typical bamboo rattle known as the Khirki.

Sticks too are much in use in the intramural of the tribes. Various kinds of instruments are too designed and used by the music impersonator.

Dancing on the Tunes of The Adivasis

Just like the music of the region, the dance of this state is equally unique and varied. Dominated by the tribal populace the folk dance of the state is tribal in nature. Due to its bordering with the states of Rajasthan one can visibly notice the Rajasthani influence on the dress as well as culture. The women clad themselves in ghaghras and take a Ghunghat (Veil worn on the face) on their head. Different tribes have their own set of dance forms. Some of the popular among them are the Marriage Dance of the Maria Gond, Drum dance of the Murias tribe. Some other important dance forms are Phag (a sword dance) and Lota (dance performed by women who balance pitchers of water on their heads). Besides these dances, a folk theatre called Macch showcases the legends of kings and warriors through traditional songs and dances.

Marriage Dance of Maria Gond

The Bastar tribal community celebrates almost every and even the miniscule events that are of little significance. Out of them, marriage dance is the most popular. Along with the performance, great care is taken while dressing up for this dance. The coronet used is made of Bison horn, and silk and feathers too are used. It is a representation of the authority and is handed from one generation to the other. Too much importance is given to the head dress and sometimes even bullocks are exchanged for pair of horns. The festivity of the marriage is simply marked by dancing and feasting.

Drum Dance of Murias Tribe

Mandri is a traditional dance that is exclusive of the Murias. Mainly considered to be a male dominant activity, however, women too sometimes join in. Performed to embrace the harvest season of Jowar, this dance is recreated in Bundelkhand, where this dance is known as Jawaara. Women can be seen carrying pots of the Jowar seeds on their heads. Though the dance is fast paced yet the dancers are ingenious to perform the dance without even a slight fail.

Khajuraho Dance Festival

Held on the 25th of February to 2nd March every year, this much acclaimed dance festival is held in an open air auditorium. From various states of India, thousands of artists use this stage to display their talent. This festival also showcases some of the best dance forms of the country, with the likes of Kathak, Kucchipudi and Bharatnatyam. Besides the dance, there is also a display of the art and craft of the craftsmen.

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Top 5 Reasons to See Music & Dance

Folk Dance of Khajuraho

Conflux of Cultures
Madhya Pradesh is the land of cultural richness. As it borders Rajasthan, the impact of the Rajasthani culture is very much evident in the traditions. It is this commingle that brighten the cultural hues of the state that will surely bewilder you. Come and experience the enigma.

The Land of the Legends
This land is still holds pride in being the bearer of two of the pillars of classical singers in the history of the country. Tansen and Baiju Bawra were born and fostered on this land. Come to see the enigma that is still created by their descendants.

Get into the Shakalaka Mood
The Tribal dance of the state is very famous. They clad themselves in unconventional attires and with sticks in their hands begin the festivity. You can even get a chance to dress up as one and do some Shakalaka with them.

Music – Eccentric yet Mystifying
e music of the state include the different Gharanas (School of Music). Two of the most popular Gharans of Madhya Pradesh are Senia Gharana started by Tansen and Gwalior Gharana by Natthan Peerbaksh. They are very popular schools and you can even learn some ragas here if you desire.

Musical Instruments with a Difference
Some of the popular musical instruments that are used to create music subsume varieties of Flutes and Drums. However, the use of sticks, leaves, stones and even horns of animals to create music is a little freakish. You can witness the making of these instruments yourself.

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