Of all other types, Gambhira is a group-song of Malda district
consisting of some dance elements in it. It takes place during
Chadak festival in the month of March-April. The big durm
Dhak is sometimes used as the principal accompanying instrument
and the song, sung in eulogy of Lord Siva, produces an unearthly
atmosphere. Tunes are loud and coarse having no variations.
Jhumur of Purulia is a peculiar musical expression influenced
by Vaishnava faith and some external tribal features are found
to be combined with it. Some swinging notes, two or three
together, make it colourful. Bhadu, more or less a ceremonial
distinction to a story of popular appeal. It combines some
of the peculiar tunes imported from Bihar. Similar is Tusu,
festival-song of the western part of the river Bhagirathi
sung by womenfolk in December-January. The tune-patterns in
fragment are joined together making these a complete whole.
For comprehension of folk music of Bengal the different aspects
of tunes to be noticed are the models of some phrases simply
formed by a combination of a few notes of almost similar nature
as utilised partially in ragas like Bilawal, Behag, Khamaj,
Behag-Khamaj, Jhinjhoti, Pahadi, Maund, Bhairavi, Piloo, Kafi,
Kalingada, Bibhas, etc. We refer to these ragas for proper
understanding of the nature of phrases. It should be remembered
that these phrases, similar to those of base parts of Bilawal
group, upper part of Khamaj group and middle portions of Kafi
and Kalingada groups, do not indicate the true character of
the ragas in any way. It is not also of any use to connect
musical forms of these folk songs with raga sangeet excepting
some references to That-s or portions of ragas as appear in
the songs. As folk song is plain and spontaneous, it is futile
to discern in it an element of direct connection with ragas.
Influences, if any, were sporadic.
A Prabhati-sangeet or a rural morning-hymn may represent
a few phrases from the Bhairav That or raga Kalingada performed
in a monotonous manner, but such individual composition should
be considered as an item of sporadic type having nothing to
do with the conception of these raga frames. It might be that
there was same influence of a raga somewhere in the past.
Similar is the case of raga Bibhas often referred to be in
use in folk song. A raga does never take shape in a few fixed
and monotonous patterns. As a raga delelops, it moves, it
creats variations. Combinations of some group-notes do not
make a raga. A folk singer is generally ignorant of raga forms.
The name of the tunes goes by the type of the songs which
represents a locality or a sect or grup. So, for folk music,
it is idle to established any relationship with raga music,
as is often done.
Musical instruments used in Bengali folk music
In most of these songs the use of percussion instrument has
been a predominant feature and the nature of these accompanying
instruments differ in size, sound-production and nature of
music. It is observed that tal and the rhythmic swing of different
types produce a phase of musical satisfaction in rural people.
The mode of the use percussion instruments is the most significant
feature of folk music.