Wednesday, 23 March 2011


BHANGRA is a form of dance and music that originated in the Punjab region.Bhangra dance began as a folk dance conducted by Punjabi Sikh farmers to celebrate the coming of the harvest season. The specific moves of bhangra reflect the manner in which villagers farmed their land. This hybrid dance became bhangra. The folk dance has been popularised in the Western world by Punjabi and is seen in the West as an expression of South Asian culture as a whole. Today,Bhangra dance survives in different forms and styles all over the globe – including pop music, film soundtracks, collegiate competitions and cultural shows.Bhangra dance is based on music from a Punjabi folk drum, dhol, folk singing, a single-stringed instrument called the iktar, the tumbi and the chimta. The accompanying songs are small couplets written in the Punjabi language called bolis. In Punjabi folk music, the dhol's smaller cousin, the dholki, was nearly always used to provide the main beat. Nowadays, the dhol is used more frequently. Additional percussion, including tabla, is less frequently used in bhangra as a solo instrument but is sometimes used to accompany the dhol and dholki. This rhythm serves as a common thread that allows for easy commingling between Punjabi folk and reggae, as demonstrated by such artists as the UK's Apache Indian.In the 1980s, Bhangra artists were selling over 30,000 cassettes a week in the UK, but not one artist made their way into the Top 40 UK Chart despite these artists outselling popular British ones; most of the Bhangra cassette sales were not through the large UK record stores, whose sales were those recorded by the Official UK Charts Company for creating their rankings.Bhangra has developed as a combination of dances from different parts of the Punjab region. The term Bhangra now refers to several kinds of dances and arts, including Jhumar, Luddi, Giddha, Julli, Daankara, Dhamal, Saami, Kikli, and Gatka.Traditional men wear a chaadra while doing bhangra. A chaadra is a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. Men also wear a kurta, which is a long Indian-style shirt. In addition, men wear pagadi (also known as turbans) to cover their heads.

In modern times, men also wear turla, the fan attached to the pagadi. Colorful vests are worn above the kurta. Fumans (small balls attached to ropes) are worn on each arm.Bhangra lyrics, always sung in the Punjabi language, generally cover social issues, such as love, relationships, money, dancing, getting drunk and marriage. Additionally, there are countless bhangra songs devoted to Punjabi pride themes and Punjabi heroes. The lyrics are tributes to the rich cultural traditions of the Punjabis. In particular, many bhangra tracks have been written about Udham Singh and Bhagat Singh. Less serious topics include beautiful ladies with their colorful duppattas and dancing and drinking in the fields of the Punjab.
Bhangra singers do not sing in the same tone of voice as their Southeast Asian counterparts. Rather, they employ a high, energetic tone of voice. Singing fiercely and with great pride, they typically add nonsensical, random noises to their singing. Likewise, often people dancing to Bhangra will yell phrases such as hoi, hoi, hoiballe ballechak deoye hoibruah (for an extended length of about 2–5 seconds); haripa; orch-ch (mostly used as slow beats called Chummer/Jhoomer) to the music.
Many different Punjabi instruments contribute to the sound of bhangra. Although the most important instrument is the keyboard, bhangra also features a variety of string and other drum instruments.
The primary and most important instrument that defines bhangra is the dhol. The dhol is a large, high-bass drum, played by beating it with two sticks - known as daggah (bass end) and tilli (treble end). The width of a dhol skin is about fifteen inches in general, and the dhol player holds his instrument with a strap around his neck.

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