Rajasthan : Folk Music of Rajasthan for RAS (RTS) Prelims Examination

Rajasthan has a diverse collection of musician castes, including langas, sapera, bhopa, jogi and Manganiar. There are two traditional classes of musicians: the Langas, who stuck mostly exclusively to Muslim audiences and styles, and the Manganiars, who had a more liberal approach.

Manganiar are professional hereditary caste musicians. They mostly live in Jaisalmer and Barmer districts of Rajasthan.They play an interesting string instrument played with a bow. It is know as Kamaicha.

Manganiars (Though Muslims) sing invariable among Hindu patron families. They serve during childbirth, weddings and other ceremonies. Manganiars are very good are rhythmic instruments like Dholak and Khadtal. Their musical compositions are very complex and have improvisatory rules build into it. Virtuoso rhythm playing has largely added to their success in music.

Langas are professional caste musicians. They live in western Rajasthan and provide musical service to Sindhi Sipahi community. They sing songs related to life-passage ceremonies i.e. birth, marriage and related ceremonies or festivals.

Historically for at least four hundred years the group has been providing music on Gujratan and Sindhi Sarangi. This evolved chordophone, the Sindhi Sarangi has helped them to enhance the quality of compositions.

The Langas continue to serve their patrons but for the last two decades, they have become a big force in representing folk music of Rajasthan on all types of electronic and other popular medias. They are widely travelled artists in the whole world. They have a strong voice and have an improvisatory technique to improve the quality of songs.