Music in Bihar is very rich as its folk forms are varied and indigenous. The three main linguistic groups are Maithili, Magadhi and Bhojpuri with a wide range of regional dialects. Most of the forms of music are associated with either a social occasion like birth or wedding or an occupational one like sowing of paddy seeds. They are also associated with festivals or celebration of seasons or are devotional in nature. Songs are either sung by the common people or by professionals who are like travelling minstrels. The different kinds of folk music are –
This folk music is generally connected with social events like the birth of a child etc. These songs are expressions of life performed in a joyous manner to herald social celebrations in an artistic manner and the language of expression is generally Magadhi. Through these songs, the women bless the new born baby and portray the customs and traditions in their life.
These songs are joyously sung during the marriage ceremony and performance of rituals with simple and traditional instruments. They are sung in Bhojpuri, Magadhi and Maithili generally by the womenfolk of the younger and older generation. In the songs, the newly married couples are blessed in their start of a new life.
These are sung during the sowing of seeds in the fields by the farmers to ease their laborious routine and enable them to work harder. These humble and simple farmers work very hard and these songs motivate them and enhance their mood of celebration.
These songs are sung by the farmers to celebrate harvesting and the happiness generated after all the hard work is expressed in the form of songs depicting reaping the fruits of labour.
Besides this there are songs like Nehchu songs sung during the nail cutting ceremony of the bridegroom, Jyonar songs which enumerate the items served when the bride and wedding party enjoy the wedding feast, Kuvar Vijay which are historical folk songs, Sobhnaika which are wedding songs and folk songs sung during various festivals like Navratra, Ramlila etc.