Bangla music contains all kinds of musical forms within itself, from classical to folk and pop to devotional. One of the most popular genres of the music comprises of 'devotion'. Out of the entire devotional genre of Bengali music, the most heard and most praised one is Shyama Sangeet. Loved by people of all age groups, because of the beauty of its presentation, this class of devotional music is specifically dedicated to Goddess Kali, who is also known as 'Shyama' in West Bengal.
Also known as Shaktagiti, Shyama Sangeet developed in 12th-13th century, when Shaktism philosophy started having a grip on Bengal. Many famous poets of that time wrote beautiful devotional songs, to pay their respect to Kali Ma, the Hindu Goddess of Power. Shyama Sangeet gained popularity specifically due to its unique approach in presentation of the deity and devotee, as mother and child. It describes the sublime love and care shared by the Goddess and her devotees as that between a mother and her child.
Shyama Sangeet is divided into two classes - the first one being devotional or metaphysical and the second one based on daily family matters or social events. The first category comprises of only Umasangit, Agamani or Vijaya songs, while the later includes Padavali songs as well. The emotions depicted in the songs reflect homely affection and intense devotion. The people who have greatly contributed to this form of Bengali music are Mukundarama, Ramprasad Sen, Kamlakanta Bhattacharya and Nilakantha Mukhopadhyaya. Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrulhave also contributed greatly to Shyama Sangeet.