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Music & Dance

In Gujarat - Music is the Speech of the Angels

Gujarat is quite famous and well known for its dynamic traditions of classical and folk music. They are the heart and soul of Gujarat. The traditional culture of Gujaratis with their traditional music and dance form of Garba, Garbi, Raas and other are well known and finds attraction to tourists. Raas and Garba dance forms are said to have been passed on by Lord Krishna, who spent his childhood at Gokul while he played the flute.

Folk songs, classical music and an array of distinctive classical ragas have exemplary features with distinctive music variations.

A special variety of music which can be classified as temple-music was indeed produced by the Vaishnava cult in Gujarat. Communities like Charans and Gadhavis are some communities whose hereditary profession is folk music and arts have indeed done a great deal to preserve the tradition of the folk music of Gujarat in its pure form itself.

The different types of folk songs in Gujarat include lullabies, nuptial songs, festive songs and Rannade songs.

Gujarat is also known for having produced its own folk instruments besides the vast contributions to classical and folk music. It is indeed worth mentioning that wind instruments like Turi, Bungal, Pava and string instruments like Ravan Hattho, Ektaro, and Jantar, and percussion instruments like Manjira and Zanz pot drum are omnipresent in the folk sounds of Gujarat. Territorial names of Gujarat such as Gujaqri Todi, Bilaval (from Veraval), Sorathi, (from Sorath), Khambavati (from Khambhat, Cambay), Ahiri and Lati are the names borne by a number of ragas in the field of classical music. Thereby they are indeed quite noteworthy as they are very valuable gifts of Gujarat contributed to the classical music tradition of India.

Bhavai-Folk Drama
Garba and Raas

Among the folk Music, Duha, Sorathaa, Chaand, Belaads, etc are traditionally performed especially in Saurashtra, Gujarat.

Bhajans and Haveli Sangeet are the religious music performed in Gujarat.

Maharaja Sayajirao Rao Gakewad who ruled Vadodara till 1947, was a patron of Indian Classical Music. He was pioneer for technical arts and music education in Central Gujarat since 1879. AD Ustad Moula Bux, founded the Academy of Indian Music under the patronage of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad. This Academy later became the Music College and is now the Faculty of Performing Arts of the Maharaja Sayajirao University (M S U) of Vadodara. The Department of Indian Classical Music (Vocal – Tabla) is the biggest department of the Faculty previously known as Gayan Shala established in 1886 by The Maharaja of Baroda later Converted into The Department of Indian Classical Music (Vocal – Tabla) as part of Faculty of Performing Arts.

Great masters of vocal and instrumental music, such as Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Ustad Hazrat Inayat Khan, Ustad Faiyaz Khan, Pandit Omkarnath Thakur and many others, adonrned the court of the Gaekwads in Baroda. It was during the reign of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad that the first all India Music Conference was held in 1914 in Baroda.


In Gujarat, Navratri Festival is celebrated with great religious fervor and appreciated all over the World. The tradition of ‘Nine days of Singing and Dancing’ is a festival enjoyed by all communities, all age groups and at all Gujarat cities and towns. Gujaratis and other communities residing out of Gujarat, also celebrate this Festival. A blend of music and dance with rich traditional wear, fasting for nine days and dancing in various forms is the highlight of the festival. Music is from traditional singing to instrumental beats or fusion. The singing cater to prayer offerings to Maa Durga and related to Lord Krishna.

The modern stage and pop culture is the in-thing among the younger generation in Gujarat. Christmas and New Year celebrations are equally gaining popularity in Gujarat. Western music, Pop, Hip Hop and Jazz music apart from many other Indi Pop and Hip hop, Punjabi Bhangda and other music and dance is in thing among the Youth. As such, Gujarat cities, especially Ahmedabad is flooded with artists, who throng for the Music Live shows.

The culture and the traditions are both alive and being forever experimented in the State.
http://www.gswan.gov.in, Gujarat State Wide Area Network Gujarat Tourism : External website that opens in a new window http://india.gov.in, The National Portal of India https://www.digitalgujarat.gov.in/, Digital Gujarat