Quick guide to Indian wedding music
India is a vast country with a number of cultural traditions, and Indian wedding music is very varied between the different regions. India’s most prominent religion is Hinduism so this article about Indian wedding music will focus on music at Hindu weddings.
Hindu wedding ceremonies are spread over five days and are composed of number of individual ceremonies, the majority of which have specific types of music or wedding songs linked with them. These can be conventional pieces of music, folk songs, or modern Bollywood hits.
Traditional groups that play Indian classical music tend to include instruments such as a sitar, dhol, tabla, tumba, and tempura. Modern Indian weddings may also include a DJ playing contemporary music. Because Hindu weddings go on for so long there will be different types of music and various bands or groups playing throughout the five days.
These are some of the key rituals of a Hindu wedding together with the music played or sung at them.
- The Mehndi ceremony is the time when the hands and feet of the bride are decorated with henna or Mehndi. This ceremony uses traditional music and songs, often accompanied by a Dholak. It is thought that the bride should not work in her new home until her Mehndi disappears.
- The Sangeet ceremony involves all the female members of the bride’s family, together with female family friends. During the ceremony the group will sing about the bride’s future life with her fiancé and some traditional songs poke fun at the groom’s family.
- The Vidaai ceremony is the moment when the bride is taken away from her family. The groom’s family sings songs to provide the bride with a warm welcome into their family and the bride’s family sing songs about the sadness of the parting and the hope of the family for her future.
- The Baraat ceremony is a kind of parade that celebrates the coming of the groom to the wedding venue. A band plays traditional music for the groom and his friends and relatives, who are called as ‘baraati’, to dance to as they make their way to the venue.
Some popular Indian wedding songs include
- Cham se wo aajaye
- Saajan Ji Ghar Aaye
- Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna
- Aaj hai sagai
- Palki Mein Hoke Sawar Chali Re
- Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge
- Kala sha kala
- Shaadi Tujhse Karoonga
- Badhaai Ho Badhaai
- Utha le jaaonga
- Mera Piya Ghar Aaya
- Mere Hathon Mein No No Chudian Hein
- Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai
- Chal Pyar Karegi
- Banno Rani Tumhain Syani
A number of Indian weddings now utilise modern Bollywood movie songs that are relevant to weddings. These are three popular tunes together with their meaning:
- The song ‘Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna’ from the film ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ is regularly sung while the Mehendi ceremony takes place and as the bride gets henna painted on her hands and feet.
- The song ‘Joote Dedo Paise Lelo’ from the film ‘Hum Apke Hain Kaun’ goes with the Indian custom where the bride’s sisters snatch the groom’s shoes and won’t hand them back until he pays them.
- The song ‘Babul Ki Duaayein Leti Ja; from the film ‘Neel Kamal’ highlights the feelings of the bride’s father when she gets married, and tells how much he will miss her.
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