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News |  22 Sep 2018 12:19 |  By RnMTeam

The sound of the North East

MUMBAI: North East of India has beautiful landscapes, wild-life, delectable tea and unique melodies to hum by. Assam, one of the seven sisters’ state, has a musical legacy that is nothing short of glory.  A hilly terrain with music that resonates right across the nation. Under the title of Assamese music, there are multiple subsets of music. Bihu being the most known, the other types are Bodo, Karbi, and Mising songs.

The music in this state is known to have oriental influences from neighboring countries like Myanmar and China. The peculiarity of Assamese music is that it is designed in pentagonic scale, as in, in a scale of five notes, omitting the fourth and seventh note.

Folk Music represents the true character of the region it belongs to. As it is meant for Folk Music, the music in Assam reflects the unhurried nature and environment of the region. The mighty Brahmaputra running through the state has witnessed the emergence and nourished the music in Assam, as the history of this music dates back to the second century. Unlike, many forms of folk music, where women were excluded, Assam folk music, had strong presence and influence of women in music. The legend of Princess Usha of Sonitpur and her legion Chitralekha, is a proof enough. 

Assam as a province was introduced to the Dhrupad style of music in the vedic era. The classical music in Assam is divided into broad segments of Borgeet and Ojapali. The Saint Srimanata Shankardeva and Mahadeva were majorly responsible to canonize this form of music. The state also has a longstanding tradition of Lokageet literally meaning Music of the people. The segment is further fragmented into Lokageet of Upper state and Lokgeet of lower state. 

Bihugeet and dance form are the most popular. Bihu, a three-time celebrated festival is a non-religious festival, that welcomes different farming season. Therefore, the music sung during this festival revolves around the farming activities and draws inferences from the situations pertaining to that. 

The musicians in Assam use peculiar instruments too like Dhol, Pepa, Gogna and many more.

The state has given many artists, who are considered to be the pride of India be it Bhupen Hazarika, Bishnuprasad Rabha among many others.

Having sung many Bollywood songs didn't let Papon forget his roots either. Papon hails from the land of Assam and is the son of Khagen Mahanta, who is popularly known Bihu Samarat. He had shared while previously speaking to Radioandmusic, “Certainly my parents being in music influenced me. My father (Khagen Mahanta) who was known as Bihu Samarat, had a great role to play in my life. That is why even today I produce a lot of Folk based music."  

Moving on from the ethnic music, today Assam also has produced some of the rockstars practicing Soft Rock and Blues, genres so different from its traditional music. Today, there are many rock bands that have emerged from this state and many musicians who belong to metal genre too, who are literally rocking the world. Be it Nishant Hagjer a drummer, who is born and brought up in Guhwati or Band of Hurricane Gals, the first ever all-girls band from Assam, the music in the state keeps growing.