History of Folk Music & Dance


The history of India has an antiquity going back to five thousand years. Rajasthan played a proactive role in the making of Indian history, its civilization and its culture. Rajasthan's impressive saga has a heroic past. Its extravagant splashes of bright hues juxtapose against the desert landscape. The miniature elegance of its small villages and impeccably maintained forts bring alive the story of the yore. The imposing appearance of its grand forts perched on rocky hills still tell the tale of the bravery of its men and the silent sacrifices of its women – not to forget the old world chivalry.


The Rajputs claim to be descendent of the Kshatriyas of the vedic period of India. Their ancestry has been divided into two main branches, the Suryavansa (race of he sun) and Induvansa (race of the moon). The former claim their descent from Lord Rama and the latter from Lord Krishna. A third branch was added later, the Agnikula or those that descended from the sacrificial fire.



As the State of Rajasthan was formed by merging the princely States, it has many dialects. The four main dialects are Marwari (in western Rajasthan), Jaipuri or Dhundhari (in the east and southeast), Malvi (Malwi in the southeast), and, in Alwar, Mewati is spoken, which shades off into BrajBhasa in Bharatpur district. The main written and spoken language is Hindi. English is also commonly understood,


"The Architecture"

The mixture and brilliance of Rajasthan's architectural heritage can amaze a visitor. Majestic forts, intricately carved temples and havelis (meaning mansion) and even step wells make Rajasthan a paradise for an architecture buff. The desert State of Rajasthan is a land of irony and extremes. This vibrant and striking region is the home of the Rajput warrior clans who had ruled here for many years. Rajasthan is also home to some of India's most romantic cities. The Rajputs were prolific builders and have dotted the arid Aravali landscape with their legacy of some most imposing and magnificent forts and palaces in the world. Today the structures defy time to tell the story of gallantry, courage and tragedy of the bygone era and its story of survival in the harsh Thar Desert. Some of the prominent structures that represent the architectural heritage of Rajasthan are JantarMantar, Dilwara Temples, Chittaurgarh Fort, Lake Palace Hotel, City Palace and Jaisalmerhavelis.


Rājasthān, the land of Rajasthanis, ("the land of kings"), is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert (Thar Desert), which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with Pakistan. The state is bordered by Pakistan to the west, Gujarat to the southwest, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to the northeast and Punjab to the north. Rajasthan covers 10.4% of India, an area of 342,269 square kilometres (132,151 sq mi).


Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the state. Geographical features include the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan and the termination of the Ghaggar River near the archaeological ruins at Kalibanga of the Indus Valley Civilization, which are the oldest in the Indian subcontinent discovered so far.




From this desert region comes unique caste of musicians, Langas, whose main profession was to sing and dance for their patrons. Bachu Khan's father performed yet for the Royal family of Jodhpur -- Rathore Gharana. With the end of royalty state function of Langas, their music started to flourish during all occasions including weddings, births, engagements and festivals. According to the Darbari (royal) tradition of several centuries Langas still sing love songs in their mother tongue, Marwari, depicting one's longing for the lover, joy of reunion and hopes that lovers put in the future. Instruments in use are Sarangi (string instrument), Murli and Algoza (woodwind instruments), Morchang (Jewish harp) and Khartal (wooden castanet). 

Bachu Khan was introduced to music by his father, but his real master, who taught him Rajasthani folk repertoire was Haji B. K. Khan. At the age of twelve Bachu Khan gave his first public performance and just a year later his first international show took place. Bachu Khan has given hundreds of performances abroad with his groups Maharaja, Musafir and Dil Mastana, until his passports were not able to accommodate any more stamps. Bachu Khan's high-pitched, open-throated, very powerful voice, supported by the backing vocalists is perfectly complemented by the woodwind and string instruments, forming a melodious and sensuous musical

Unique and valuable in Bachu Khan's life and work is his ability to engage tradition and contemporary. Being the father of five daughters he wants to pass the music tradition to them, against the tradition of his community, where women are forbidden to perform music. He is always eager to experiment and improvise with different music styles, as he did by participating in Gypsy Caravan project and collaborating with Natacha Atlas, Duquende and Antonio "El Pipa", among others.
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