The Essence of a Good Punjabi Song

Welcome Music lover!

Perhaps you are new to "world music" or perhaps you have been a long term lover of the art. Either way, a healthy curiosity has brought you here with questions.

The first question is really, what is a Punjabi Song?

Well a Punjabi song, is a song that originated or grew from roots based in the Punjabi region between India and Pakistan. More than this, however, it is a form of music that once existed in its traditional forms as not just music, but also a ritualised dance featuring movements reflective of harvesting crops. This music and dance was called Bhangra and was used to celebrate the prosperity the coming harvest would (hopefully) bring.

Most of the time, both in India and in Punjab, the dance element has been abandoned in favour of a purely musical performance. This change, the dropping away of the dance aspect, occurred during the nineteen-sixty's when Punjabi Musicians were exposed to the British Rock Song with it's obvious lack of (intentional) dance. The song-only notion of English Songs became the punjabi song way as well.

Later on, technology like synthesized keyboards and instruments become increasingly popular among the Punjabi Musicians who had migrated to the United Kingdom. Soon they became the norm for many groups.

Another change occurred not long later with the addition of sampled instruments, sampled sounds & sampled beats. They all took the Bhangra into increasingly unfamiliar territory, and each time it emerged victorious.

The second question you probably have then, is what makes a good punjabi song?

The essence of a good punjabi song is hard to define for the simple fact that it covers such a diverse range of different musics. While they all tend to contain the essence of the Bhangra, they also are almost universally different from artist to artist. The good Punjabi song then, is a magic quality of fine quality musicianship, a good recording, and that it is... a song you like.

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