Like many other aspects, music in India is also diverse because of its cultural diversity. Almost every Indian city has a different genre of music specific to it. If you want to explore new styles of music, India is a hub of different styles and it’s a heaven for music lovers.
A young city, Bengaluru’s musical journey is all rock and roll. It is often touted as the “Rock Capital of India,” and is well known for its underground hip-hop music scene. It has hosted a number of stalwarts in rock music including Aerosmith and Iron Maiden. Bengaluru has a thriving live music scene and has given rise to a number of music bands.
Kolkata has its own breed of music specific to West Bengal-Rabindra Sangeet. The songs are written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore which is immensely popular and many renditions of his music are widely performed. Kolkata is home to one of the first rock bands of India, Mohiner Ghoraguli along with several other Bengali rock bands. Bengal is also known for a music form- Bhatiali, sung by its fishermen. Nirmalendu Chowdhury is one of the best exponents of this ancient musical form.
South India is famous for Carnatic music. Chennai regularly hosts Carnatic music concerts and recitals. A number of popular singers have emerged from Chennai like Aruna Sairam, Gayathri Girish, and Vidya Subramanian. Bhavageete, Naatupura Paadalgal, and Kummi Paatu are other beautiful streams of music in Tamil Nadu, each with its own special tones.
Shillong is a rock music hub in India and is a shining star on the country’s music map. The famous Lou Majaw, known for his Bob Dylan renditions is from Shillong. Many international rock bands have performed in Shillong like Petra, Eric Martin, MLTR, Scorpion, White Lion, and Hoobastank amongst others. Soulmate, the blues band well known across the country originates from Meghalaya as well.
Lucknow is known for one of India’s biggest classical music maestros-Begum Akhtar. She is one of the epitomes of Ghazal music. Lucknow is famous for its Hindustani classical music. The various compositions were highly inspired by the poetry written by the famous poets and literary figures from the town itself.
Assam is known for Bihugeet and this form of folk music is performed every year at the famous Bihu festival. It is not only popular in Assam but across North-eastern India. It represents the joy of the Assamese and these songs usually tell a story on various themes like love, social messages and even entertaining stories.
Uttarakhandi music usually convey important social messages, stories on nature, bravery and historical characters. The people of the state use their music to share their cultural practices. They are well known to use unique musical instruments like Masak Baja, Daur, Thali, Ransingha, Damoun, and Bhankora.
A popular form of music in Maharashtra is Lavani which is accompanied by a dance form of the same name. It is an entertaining form of music and uses its fun beats to convey important social messages about society and politics. There are different types of Lavani- Nirguni, Shringari, Baithakichi, and Phadachi Lavani.
Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh
These states are known for Pandavani which narrates the heroics of the Mahabharata. It is an old form of folk music but is being kept alive by ace performers like Teejan Bai, Jhaduram Devangan, Ritu Verma, Usha Barle and Shantibai Chelak.
India is a true music lover’s paradise and the diversity in the various cultures of the states adds to the beauty of music across the country.