Various Artists

Bengali Traditional Folk Music

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Bengal, now known as Bengla Desh, has a long, rich, and colorful poetic and musical tradition. Every village has singers, flute players, and drummers. Music in Bengal is mainly sung and performed by the Baul, who are great poets, but who also dislike formalism of any kind, including religious ones. There are two groups of Baul, the Udasi Baul, the wandering monks who travel from village to village to sing, and the Sujan Baul, who are householders. They sing different kinds of songs, of which we find few examples on this excellent CD. The main instruments they use are the flute, a drum made of clay, tablas, cymbals, and other percussion instruments, some string instruments, such as the tambura, as well as the Indian harmonium.

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