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.


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