Due to Kashmir's close proximity to Central Asia, Eastern Asia and Southern
Asia, a unique blend of music has evolved encompassing the music of the 3
regions. But, overall, Kashmiri music is closer to Central Asian music, using
traditional Central Asian instruments and musical scales.
Kashmiri music uses a wide variety of musical scales, everything from musical
scales which are very similar to the byzantine scale, and harmonic minor scale,
to the more melodic sounding Major scale, and Minor scale. Also the use of
vocals in traditional Kashmiri music varies. In some forms of Kashmiri music
vocals are given the central role, forming the lead of the songs, but in many
other varieties, it is the instruments that act as the central focus of the
music. In a lot of traditional Kashmiri music the vocals are harmonized, with a
wide ranging of harmonies from the use Consecutive fifths to one person singing
the same melody either an octave higher or lower.
Given below are some main forms of the traditional music of Kashmir, along with
some Kashmiri folk songs:
Once performed with the help of only Garaha, Sarangi and Rabab, Chakri has
included harmonium also in its presentation. It is one of the most popular forms
of the traditional music of Kashmir.
Sofians musiqui (Sufi Music) owes its introduction in Kashmir to Iran.
Introduced in the 15th century in the Kashmir valley, Sufiana music continues to
enthrall its audience till date. With the passage of time, a number of Indian
ragas were added to this music form. This classical music form of Kashmir makes
the use of Santoor, Sitar, Kashmiri Saz, Wasool or Tabla.
A part of the classical Sufiana Music, Hafiz Nagma makes use of Santoor-a
hundred stringed instrument played with sticks. In Hafiz Nagma, there is a
female dancer, accompanied by a number of males with instruments. The dancer,
known as Hafiza, moves her feet to the musical notes.
Rouuff is a traditional dance form performed by women on certain important
Sufiana Kalam is also popular in Kashmir, this form of music is accompanied by a
70-stringed instrument called the Santoor, along with the Kashmiri Saz.
Sufiana Kalam has been popular in Kashmir since arriving from Iran in the 15th
century, and has been the music of choice for Kashmiri Sufi mystics.
The dance based on the sofiyiana kalam is the hafiz nagma.
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