No state in India can boast off the range of music Uttar Pradesh have. The state has variety of Classical, semi-classical and Folk genres to enthrall the visitors. In addition to that the state is home to some of the most versatile and popular masters of this art form. Utter Pradesh is the citadel of 'Purbaiya Ang' of Hindustani Classical Music. The center of this unit has been Varanasi or Benaras for years.
Starting with Eastern Uttar Pradesh one can easily conclude that this
region has given birth to most of the folk music genres in the state.
Birha is the most popular one among them. This is a mood-based genre
where newly weds lament the separation from their husbands who travel to
distant places to earn their livelihood. Chaiti is in contrast a month
specific genre that is primarily sung in the month of Chait according to
the Hindu calendar. The core theme of these songs is the amorous fight
of a beloved with his lover. Kajari is also a season specific song genre
that is mostly sung in monsoon. Here too, the theme is lament of
separation but it is less sensuous in nature in comparison to Birha.
In the Awadh region, none is more popular than the Ghazal. It is
basically a system of uniting various verses in a prescribed format of
meter and weight. Thumari are another popular genre of this region.
Though for years this music form was confined to royal courts, but when
it came amidst masses it became unsurpassable in popularity. Qauwwali,
or the poems of Sufis, has a pan-world presence. It is mostly sung on
the tombs of Sufi saints and has a loud vocal that culminates to Trance
at its crescendo. Marsiya on the other hand is sad in content and
recitation. Popular among the Shia Muslims in Uttar Pradesh, Marsiya are
the poetic description of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of
Prophet Muhammad, and his comrades.
Rasiya is popular in the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh. The theme of
this folk genre revolves predominantly around Lord Krishna's love for
his consort Radha and other milkmaids. This is generally sung during the
festival of Holi in Braj.