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The main center of music in South Asia is the state of Orissa. One of the major part of history of country’s heritage is the traveling bards. The folk music of Orissa is divided into various styles of classical Indian music in the 11th century. The music of Orissa is a unique kind of Hindustani music that has its unique musical style.
The music of the Orissa has all the main parts or ingredients Like Hindustani and Carnatic systems in the state of Orissa. Because of lack of interest and lack of proper study, circulation, and revival, this type of folk songs are not highlighted at the time of Britishers in Orissa. Besides this, the folk music form in Orissa still maintained in its form. This had done due to the contribution in maintaining this form of music by the great musicians like Jaga Akhadas of the district Puri. After the independence, the tradition of music took a drastic turn.
The Orissa music is surrounded by various aspects and it is generously multicolored, colorful, and charming as the music of sacred land. For the last 2500 years, the growing experience and tradition of music of Orissa is divided into five genres that is 1. Classical music, 2. Folk music, 3. Light music, 4. Light classical music, and 5. Tribal music. These categories need various aspect to understand this subject all over the India.
As the title of the music indicates that the name of the music is named after the tribal that lived in the coastal region and jungle in the state of the Orissa. About one forth population of the total India is made by the state of Orissa and has largest third tribes concentration. About 62 of tribal communities were distributed there in Orissa.
The folk songs in Orissa were sung on the various occasions or festivals for celebration and enjoyment. The ethos and folk communities were expressed by the folk music. There were lots varieties of folk music out of various confusing classes and they are Kendra Geeta, Kela Keluni Geeta, Geeta, Balipuja Geeta, Jaiphula Geeta, Dalkhai Geeta, Gopal Ugala, Ghoda Nacha and Danda Nacha, Ghumura Geeta, and Osa-Parva-Geeta.
All the Janan and Bhajan songs in Oriya accompanied with ragas. Light classical music also gives more contribution to the music of Orissa that are Rangila Chaupadi. Other main forms of music that makes the Orissi traditional music form are Champu, Malasri, Chaturang, Swaramalika and Laxana, Chautisa, Anirjukta Pravadha, Chaupadi, Vyanjani, Kuduka Geeta, Divya Manusi Prabandha, Sri Geetagovinda, and Sariman. All these parts of the Orissi music came under the category of traditional classical music.
In the Odissi music, lyrics are much more importance due to fragmentation of the words. Particular type of taalas and ragas were used in this form of music. Unlike the taalas of north and South Indian range that have same beats, beat and pause in the Odissi taalas are quite different. There is more stress on the text and Prabandha of the song in the singing of Odissi style song. There were lots of popular Odissi lyricists and they were named as Banamali, Kavisurya Baladev Ratha, Jayadev, Gopalkrushna, Kavisamrat Upendra Bhanja, and Deenkrushna etc. The frolicks and love of the Radha and Krishna were shown in the traditional Odissi song. To accompany the Odissi music, the Orissi dance is also used to perform. Basically, the Odissi songs were sung to accompany the dance performance done by young boys and Maharis in the Jagannath Temple and also where Odissi dance was performed by the Gotipuas. Basically, from the music of Gotipua, the original style of today’s Odissi music was developed.
The style of Drupad is also similar to the classical style of Odissi music. The music Odissi adopted the sounds of ‘Tom Nom' and ‘Gamak'. Just likely to the instrument Pakhwaj, other beating instrument accompanied the Odissi music is named ‘Mardal.’ In the temples, players of ‘Mardal’ statues were accompanied with the sculptures.
The music of Odissi also is very similar to the music style of Karnataka. This is due to the fact that the area around the Kaveri river and all main regions of the Karnataka were overcome by the Kalinga Empire. The princess of Orissa married to the King Purosottam Deva. In the Orissa court, lots of singers are from South India. The Rajamani and Kavisurya singers were of Telugu composers. The music of the Odissa is more affected by the music of Karnataka. In the lyrics of famous composers like Gaurahari, Upendra Bhanja, Gopalkrushna, and Kavisurya etc, the influence of Karnataka music is seen. The most popular singer Jayadeva’s composition ‘Astapadis” in the form of Karnataka music is led to the combination between the South India music and Orissa music.
Few of popular ragas were named as Dhanasri, Kamodi, Baradi, Desakhya, and Belabali. The ragas of Hindustani and Karnatak were also sung in the style of Odissi music. There were few raagas in Karnataki style that were used in the Odissi music and they are named as Sankarabharan, Saberi, Mohana, Kamavardhini, and Maya Malab Gauda etc. there were few names of the Hindustani ragas that were used in the music of Odissi and they were Bhairavi, Malhar, Khambaj, Desh, Begeshri, and Rageshri etc. There were few Karnataki and Hindustani raagas that had different combination of note but they bear the same name. similarly, some styles have different names but they had same combination of notes in both Karnataki music style and Odissi music style. The best example of this statement is that Raaga Kamodi in Odissi style is same as the Raaga Durga in the Hindustani style and Sudha Saveri is same as in Karnataki style. There is one raaga that is Lalita from Odissi that is originated from the raaga of Chandrakauns.
Following the Prabandha song, the short Aalap was started with the Odissi Andolan with the ragas extended with the use of Boltan. At the time of performance of dances to the songs, Boltan is described. At the completion of song, a sargam was sung that is called Taan. This taan is pause to the taal and set by the beats. In the Odissi style, Padi is applied that means lyrics sung on same taal but different beats, but this Padi is not applied on all the songs. The difference is mainly that the speed of singing the Padi is very much fast than the main song.
The main portion of the Odissi music is the taal prescribed as heart of music. Few of the Odissi taal are similar to classical music that are named as Tritaal, Jhaptaal, Aditaal, Atta, and Jhampa etc. With the divisional bols and beats, Hindustani music quite differ from the typical taal of Odissi style. Few are that is Dadra of Hindustani music is quite different from Khemta of 6 matras, Rupak of Hindustani music is different from Tripata with 7 matras, and Kaharva of Hindustani music is differ from the Ektali with 4 matras.
With the combination of lyrics, melody, taals, and particular ragas, the style of Odissi music is very old.