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Folk Music

The Punjabi folk music has something to offer for every occasion and to every generation. There are songs for birth, death, marriage. There are also songs that speak about the bravery and heroism of the Punjabi males.

Features of Musical Style


The beats involved in the folk dance of Punjab are not very complex. The beats followed in the Bhangra dance are little complex in comparison to other kinds of folk dances performed as part of Punjabi folk dances.


The most traditional Punjabi music includes the rhythms of Heer and Mirza. There are not many music composers who work for enhancing the new music for Punjabi Folk and this is the reason that the rhythm involved in the Punjabi folk has been similar and has been played for ages and the only major difference involved is the change in lyrics.

Folk Songs

There are Punjabi folk songs that have been specifically designed for particular occasions like birth, wedding ceremony, death, expressing emotions of love, detailing of beauty, social ceremonies, lifestyle, festivals and fairs. There have been specific folk songs that are linked to Punjabi’s professional social groups.

These groups can be segmented into following details

Occasions For Singing

Social Issues

The folk music in Punjab speaks majorly about the way of life in Punjab, traditions, ethnicity and customs. The themes of the folk songs in Punjab has there links to few of the issues that effect the development of the state like the ill effect related to the castes, the ill beliefs like being superstitious. Few of the groups in Punjab have been seen resisting the promotion of folk performances in Punjab.

Life Cycle Rituals

The songs that are majorly sung in the birth, festival and fair represent the feelings of the community. The music at this occasion expresses ecstasy among the family. The other special songs sung are for the daughter in the family where they ask her parents to pray for her happy life after she marries and leaves her parents house.

Fairs And Festivals

There are special songs that are sung as folk songs in Punjab on the occasions of Lohri, Maghi and especially the most important of all is the occasion of Baisakhi which is also known as the harvest season in Punjab. The males perform the Bhangra while female enjoy performing the Giddha. The other important festival that is enjoyed by the women is Teeyan that is celebrated during the monsoon season known as Sawan. The other occasion that is celebrated by the women when the married girl comes to visit her parents is enjoyed by performing Giddha. The women are seen wearing Phulkari embroided costumes along with matching jewelry. The women also put up heena on their hands.

Types of Textual Themes


There have been many love stories that are associated with the state of Punjab and helped in developing the love songs. The major love songs in Punjabi folk revolve around the love stories of Heer-Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal, Mirza Sahiban and Sassi Punnun. The kind of folk dances linked to the romantic folk are Jugni, Tappe, Dhola, Dohre, Sadda, Mahia, Jindua, Kafian, Bolian, Jhikan etc. The most romantic pair of Punjab that is still well known for their love in the entire world is of Heer and Mirza.


There are also special folk songs that speak about the bravery of various heroes in Punjab and few of them to be named are Dulla Bhatti, Jagga Jatt, S. Udham Singh, Jiona Maurh, Raja Rasalu, S. Bhagat Singh and Sucha Soorma.


There are number of folk songs that have there links to the religious ceremonies performed by the Punjab community.

The Sikh community has a good linkage to the folk music. Guru Hargobind who is the Sikhs sixth Guru formed a group of singers who specialized in singing the Gurban, Vaars and these groups are referred as Dhadis. The religious music of Punjab uses the instruments like Dhad and Sarangi.

The folk music related to the spiritual beliefs of other communities involves Qawwalis in Islam, Bhajans are sung in the communities like Naats, Hindus and Hamds.


Few of the musical instruments that are used along the songs of Punjabi folk music are dhol, dhadd, gharha, chimta, tumbi, sarangi, gagar or algoze. These instruments are very rhythmic and hence enhance the folk music to a different level.

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