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Musical World of Rajasthan

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Essay title: Musical World of Rajasthan

The Musical world of Rajasthan

"Rajasthan exhibits the sole example in the history of mankind of a people withstanding every outrage barbarity can inflict or human nature sustain, and bent to the earth, yet rising buoyant from the pressure and making calamity a whetstone to courage"

Of the immensely beautiful states of India, each unique in its ethnicity and traditions, Rajasthan is probably the most mystically intriguing of all. The dullness of the desert, in contrast to the rich and colorful heritage, proposes enigma to this land of kings and warriors. Not only does the Rajasthani art have a special place in the Indian traditional art, this exotic and vibrant land is also internationally renowned for its indigenous music and dance. Among the various music groups of this desert land, the most prominent group of musicians is the Langas and the Manganiyars. Music is undoubtedly the most important aspect of their everyday life. The most important role of the traditional folk music of the Langas and Manganiyars of Rajasthan is the unique identity that it offers these desert musicians. A quick glance at the history of the province, the performers of the Rajasthani folk music and its audience, and the vocals and instruments of the folk singers provides an insight into the way music has impacted them, giving them their deserving place in the international arena.

Rajasthan is historically known as the land of kings and warriors. The state has been privileged with this identity because of the most prominent ethnicity of the land, the Rajputs. The Rajputs rose to prominence in the 9th and 10th centuries, and were a major force to reckon with, in medieval India. Passionately attached to their land, family and honor, the Rajputs treated war as a sport, and followed a strong chivalric code of conduct (Indtravel, 1993). Rajputs were great patrons of dance and music. Music was engrained in their customs and traditions, such as prewar rituals and celebration of victory. Rajasthani folk music flourished during the reign of the Rajputs, and spread far and wide establishing their distinct identity. Myths and legends of the Rajput velour, gallantry, sacrifice and courage have come to us in the form of ballads sung by folk singers, or in the accounts of bards and court poets. Therefore, historically, music has played an important role in establishing the warrior-like identity of Rajasthan (Rajasthan Travel Tourism).

While Rajasthani folk music was highly patronized by the Rajputs in medieval India, it is now patronized by the villagers who participate actively in the shows put up by traveling entertainers (Rajasthan Club). Apart from the local people, domestic as well as foreign tourists form a large part of the audience to the Rajasthani folk singers. The performers themselves are the traditional villagers of Rajasthan. The art of singing and composing the traditional Rajasthani folklore is passed down through generations. Therefore, this ethnic music has its own special identity and is recognized worldwide. There is an interesting relation between the performers, the Langas and the Manganiyars, and the audience to their folk music. While the patrons of the Rajasthani music were invariably Hindus, the Langas and Manganiyars were always Muslims. They were devoted to Islam but without any rigidity. The result is a blend of two religions that is obvious from the names of some of these desert musicians, such as Shankar Khan (Komal Kothari). Thus, this interesting relation between the performers and the patrons of Rajasthani folk music has brought forth a distinct new class identity, a mix of Islam and Hinduism.

Another distinct aspect of the traditional Rajasthani music is the sound of the traditional folk music, and the traditional instruments used by the musicians. The folk music of the Langas and Manganiyars is simple and full-throated. They sing in groups, which lead to a blending of voices weaving back and forth to form an intricate tapestry of sound (Raj Tourism). The folk music of Rajasthan has a very typical melodic local flavor that is easily identifiable as the traditional Rajasthani folk music. Folk instruments such as sarangi, kamaycha, satara, NAD, and morchang that originated in this desert land, create a wide range of lighting and melodious sound in accompaniment to the music of the Langas and the Manganiyars (Rajasthan Club). This unique style of folk music and instruments provides distinct recognition to the Rajasthani culture.

The folk music of the Langas and Manganiyars is an indispensable component of their identity. The very concept of Rajasthani music within the Langa and Manganiyar ethnicity, the behaviorism of the performers and the audience of this traditional music, and the sound of music revolve around establishing the ethnic identity of these talented musicians.

Music is the heart and

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