The state of Gujarat is home to a number of popular folk and traditional musicians who have went on to make a name in this world. some of the best musicians that India may have seen like Baiju Bawra and Tana Riri who belong to this place of rich cultural heritage. The person responsible for Vaishnava Jana To also belongs to Gujarat who is famous for his Vaishnavite poems and various devotional songs that he had written to praise the lord. His compositions are heard by the lord’s devotees even to present day by Gujaratis from all over the world. The region of Saurashtra is especially popular for producing some of the most amazing music in the matters of variety and vividness. For a tourist the music of Gujarat is a treat to the ears and the instruments involved are truly unique which when put together creates melodious music.
Folk Music of Gujarat
The folk musical collection that is a treasure of Gujarat consists of a wide variety of musical numbers and genres. The most popular ones here include Bhajans with the main theme being poetry by various musical compositions like Prabhati, Dhol etc. The folk music here is referred to as Sugam sangeet and is a hereditary profession passed on from generations on an end to the people belonging to the communities of Barot, Gadhvi and Charan. The Dayro and the Lokvarta musical forms which is delivered as a religious and social message to its listeners. Another folk musical form here is referred to as Marasiyas which originates from Marsiya and its music is very melancholic in nature. Other than simple musical folk numbers there are folk musical theatres also here that takes place and is known as Bhavai and Akhyana.
This form of music represents the perfect combination and a beautiful balance of classical and modern music. It is a very soothing type of music which is sang in the form of a very soulful and meaningful Ghazal. The lyrics present in this folk form of music have rich and meaningful verses. This type of particular music does not follow the strict rules of music and represents soulful and peaceful tunes which maintains the classical tone really well. This music is very light in nature and consists of sweet tunes along with meaningful and profound meanings for lyrics.
Instruments for Creating Folk Gujarati Music
Just like the rest of India the instruments which are utilised in creating soulful music are very unique and distinct from other regions of the subcontinent. Some of these folk Guajarati instruments are:
Sundari – This is a double reed wind instruments consisting of around 7 to 9 holes. It is normally made out of Shisham which guarantees its longevity. The common Shehnai or flute is how a Sundari is also played. The musical tempo ranges from medium to fast and this is because it is a very shot and small instrument where slow numbers are not possible hence the pace.
Bhorrindo – This is a very unique musical instrument which is like in the form of a hollow clay ball consisting of around 3 to 4 holes. This particular instrument can be dated back to the ancient ages where people used to utilise naturally occurring resources to fashion a musical instrument and is made out of soft alluvial clay. Generally people grazing their cattle play their music on this folk instrument.
Surando – This is one of the most ancient stringed folk instruments primarily concentrated to the Kutch region. If you happen to visit Rann of Kutch during the time of Rann Utsav then you will be able to see local people and musicians performing folk songs to this traditional instrument whose strings are played with the help of a bow like thing which is referred to as a gaz. This instrument doesn’t remain bounded to one region and can be seen played as a Sarinda in the Sindh region of Pakistan.
Morchang – This is one of those rare and sophisticated folk musical instruments of Gujarat which is made out of iron or brass and is primarily used by the shepherd community in Gujarat and other regions here where people rely on agriculture for their livelihood. This instrument is normally used in the Kutch region for making folk traditional music.