Folk Music

 Indian music and hence musical instruments of the Indian subcontinent have gradually evolved from their original versions as a result of the interaction of Indian people with people from other cultures. All musical instruments Indian or otherwise have their own unique history attached to them. For example it would be true to say that most folk music has employed some kind of rhythmic drum beat and while hind songs are still popular the drums may have been altered to get a different and perhaps unique sound. Still, in India, because of many avid fans of classical streams of music, Indian manufacturer of musical instruments do still cater to this sector by manufacturing ancient musical instruments even today. In the Indian consumer market, the list of musical instruments for sale would therefore still include a list of popular age-old instruments like the sitar which is believed to be the predecessor of the modern-day guitar, the tabla, the sarod, the shehenai and many more.

One can also get a hold of an array of wholesale musical instruments India. Such wholesale schemes allow the consumer to avail of the economies of scale. This is especially true in the case of rare, old musical instruments as these can be costly to produce just to cater to a small demand.

Musical instruments manufacturing stores in India also make quality, western musical instruments. The list of instruments that are manufactures within the Indian sub-continent would now include a variety of percussion instruments, musical devices, electronic musical gadgets and instruments, electronic versions of ancient musical instruments lie the tabla, tanpura, dholak, flute, sarangi, etc, a huge range of wind instruments and many more.


Instead of tabla, folk musicians use drums in their music. Basic drums which are not refined like dholak, daf or nal are commonly used in folk music.  The instruments normally used in folk music are Dotar, Ektar, Saringda, Santur and Rabab. Interestingly these instruments are even named differently depending upon local dialect.  Diversity is such that there are many instruments which are used only in particular folk styles in specific regions.  Most of these interesting instruments are made up of normally existing substances


Commonly used folk musical instruments are:-


Dhol – large barrel drum

Bansuri – bamboo flute

Dotar – simple lute

Kartal – wooden clappers

Chimpta – fire tongs

Dholki – barrel drum

Daf – frame drum

Ghungharu – small bells

Dholak – barrel drum

Ektar – simple lute

Gettuvadyam – hammered lute

Magadi Vina – bamboo lute

Ghatam – clay pot

Khol – clay drum

Murchang – jaw harp

Naggada – kettle drums

Nakula – bamboo lute

Rabab – lute

Santur – hammered dulcimer

Pung – drum

Gopichand – one stringed instrument

Pungi – snake charmer’s instrument

Pena – simple one string bowed instrument

Damaru – hourglass drum

Saringda – simple fiddle

Shankh – conch shell

Idakka and Udaku – hourglass drums

Thanthi Panai – pot drum

Folk music is very fascinating. Despite not having any formal training and teaching in the basic nuances of music, the way music is played in rural places of India mesmerizes us. Villagers imbibe music with gradual and subtle grace. When one hears villagers playing folk music, it seems more of a phenomenon of music mingled in their blood. Our Indian culture has this inherent element of playing music in all the festivals. In fact no normal or major occasions like engagements, marriages, births, festivals etc are complete without music. We Indians have glut of songs for every occasion. On occasions like these villagers indulge in music with gusto. It also gives them chance to perform and polish their musical skills.  Performing in those functions harmonize sedate village life with the cosmos. Apart from these normal and special occasions, it’s a common sight to see villagers singing during the time of planting and cropping. The soul of those songs revolves around villagers’ optimism, uncertainties and desire. Folk music is also used for educational purposes in many parts of the India. 


Instruments used in folk music are distinctly different from Indian classical music. It’s hard to find essential classical instruments like Sitar and Sarod in folk music. Though, sometimes, the use of tabla can be found in folk music, that is one of those rare cases. The instruments used by folk musicians are normally not as sophisticated or advanced as the classical musicians bring into play.  The prime reason being, instruments used in classical music are crafted by professional artisans whereas folk music instruments are generally made by the musicians themselves.

So what is Folk music? Folk music is a bucolic manifestation of the huge Indian civilization. Indian Folk music possesses rich history. India has amazing variety of folk music. India has always been a land of tremendous cultural diversity. This cultural variety is at the root of infinite range of folk styles found in our land. Every region in India has its own peculiar style of folk music. Folk music has often been misconstrued as tribal music but both are quite different from each other. Tribal music represents vastly dissimilar cultures.  Many of these tribal cultures are a reminder of cultural situations as they were hundreds of years ago.


Talking about difference between folk and tribal music and classical music, folk and tribal music is not taught like the classical music. Classical music follows a detail education and practice whereas folk music is more of fun and casual thing. Classical music includes a proper period of apprenticeship. That explains why, those who learn classical music dedicate their whole life to learning the music. Folk music, being more of rustic thing, is a different story altogether. Rural conditions in India make it quite tough for students to devote their entire life to music. Those who practice folk music need to perform daily chores of life as well. Activities like agriculture or hunting and other such professions which give them bread and butter.