Friday, October 06, 2006

Punjabi dance; popular music, bhangra

Bhangra (Punjabi: ਭੰਗੜਾ, بھنگڑا, bhaṅgṛā) is both a lively dance which is from the region of Punjab, now divided between North India and Pakistan, and the musical accompaniment to the dance. A variety of popular music, also called bhangra, has developed from these traditions and has a keen youth following around the world.

Bhangra is a fusion of music, singing and the beat of the dhol drum, a single stringed instrument called the iktar (ektara), the tumbi and an instrument reminiscent of an enlarged pair of tongs called chimta. The accompanying songs are small couplets written in the Punjabi language called bolis. They relate to harvest celebration, love, patriotism or current social issues.

Today the word bhangra is more associated with the style of dance pop music derived from the above mentioned musical accompaniment. The dhol's smaller cousin, the dholaki, is sometimes used instead of or in addition to the dhol. Additional percussion, including tabla, is frequently used in bhangra.


Below now is just a typical example of how this looks in modern pop culture.
Song by Sabar Koti.

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