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In the state of Bihar, classical music is very much popular as the most famous legendry Ustad Bismillah Khan who is also a Bharat Ratna is basically from Bihar and other famous personality is Malliks who is a singer from Darbhanga Gharana and singer Mishras from Bettiah Gharana. All of these were give more contribution to the classical music in the state of Bihar.
One can found subaltern culture in the Bihar as compared to the others. All the activities of daily life were approached in the folk songs of Bihar. In the every person’s life, the folk music is deeply emerged so still alive. At the river side and at home, the people started singing folk songs and lots of entertainment at the time of Chhath Puja in Bihar state. In the plains of Bihar, the history of freedom fighter Kunwar Singh was shown through the folk songs. The folk music of the Bihar is revolved around the religion in the village. There were lots of songs that were performed on a particular occasion like at the time of childbirth, sohar song is performed, during sowing paddy-ropnijeet was performed, at the time of wedding-sumangali was performed, at the time of harvesting-hori, chaita, purbi, birha, bidesia, birni, pachra, irni, nirgun, samdaun, jatsari, jhuman, ghato, and aalah were performed. Beer Kunwar were the form of war songs in the tradition.
In the states like South Africa, Mauritius, and Caribbean, the Bihari music has great influence as lots of Bihari were migrated to these areas and also in the states like Bangladesh and Pakistan where Muslim Bihari were moved after the India’s partition.
One of the most famous folk music is Sohar in Bihar. This form of music is related to the daily life of the people just as the childbirth in any family. To create expression for artistic sake, the folk songs in Bihar were created. All the forms of folk music have a connection to the social life. The people who arranged, listen, and performed expressed their life in the form of these folk songs. For the same purpose as in Bihar, the folk song Sohar is also sung in the neighbor Jharkhand state.
During the birth of child, lots of customs and traditions were shown through the folk songs. This folk song is the basic theme in every celebration in Bihar. In the Sohar music, Magadhi language is basically used and theme of this song is related to the childbirth and the social life related to the women. This song is also enhanced by the celebration through dance and women blessed the new baby through these songs.
For the success of the marriage, the songs of Sumangali were sung in Bihar. The languages like Maithili, Bhojpuri, and Magadhi were used in this traditional song. In the ritual of ceremony of marriage, the women sung in the group to celebrate in this state. This form of folk music moves from older to young generation.
The meaning of the Sumangali is to enhance the occasion’s grace through the celebration with singing. Some of the folk songs in Bihar also has unique identity as still not related to social life. For the happiness and better completion of marriage, the songs of Sumangali were essential to sing.
Just through ages, the employs of the Sumangali were tunes down in Bihar. Only the simple and traditional style of instruments were used in this song. This ritual song never lost its nature. Through this song, the new married couples were blessed to move into the new life. It is of large significance, that in the marriage occasion, the song is sung by the group of women so they show a large significane in this field and society.
The main popular song of the state of Bihar is the Ropnigeet. Ropnigeet is the song sung at the work time in the field. It involves the sowing of seeds in the field of agriculture in state of Bihar. The poor farmers believed that this song enhance, motivates the new season of work with hope and new beginning. These farmers are very simple, illiterate, and humble and celebrate the working occasion to ease their hard work in the form of this folk song.
In India, paddy is the principle crop and crop sowing songs were very famous among the farmers. As the name confirm, sowing song is called Ropnigeet. In this larger state of Bihar, the staple food is rice and sowing of this crop is fully celebrated in the state of Bihar. As the way to monsoon, the cultivation of paddy starts at the time of peak of summer in the plains of Bihar. Till the rain droplet parched the land of Bihar, the poor farmers worked very hard in the peak of heat in the field. So this Ropnigeet enhance the mood of the farmers for the future hope in form of celebrating this moment.
For the harvesting of paddy, the folk song used to sung here in Bihar named Katnigeet. As the rice is a staple crop in the plains portion of the Gangetic Bihar, so work song Katnigeet served as a culture of folk itself. The basic life sphere of the poor people were shown through the dances and folk music. This kind of folk music enhanced their capacity to deal with the harsh life. There is no immunity for the Katnigeet of Bihar. While at one hand, to celebrate the paddy sowing Ropnigeet is sung, on the other hand for completion of sowing Katneet is sung. This folk form of music represents as sign of plenty and prosperity to the new harvesting time.
As in some plain areas of Bihar, rice is a staple crop so as the song Katnigeet is sung. This crop of rice is the main crop all over the area of Gangetic Bihar, so it shows the spherical culture in the region. Each step is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fun. After the extreme hard work came to an end, the celebrations were started more enthusiastically in the field with the folk songs. The months of October and November were celebration months in state of Bihar.