FOLK MUSIC OF GUREZ


Folk music of a place is the representation of culture, traditions, clothing and most importantly the tales of a particular place. This music travels from generation to generation and becomes immortal within the people of that place. Gurez is a beautifully placed valley located in the northern Jammu & Kashmir. This valley is also blessed with natural beauty, colorful tradition and beautiful and melodious music. This music originates from day-to-day routine, folklore and from simple music instruments easily available to the people.

Gurezi people mainly speak two languages i.e., Kashmiri and Shina or Sheena. Basically, Gurezi people listen music in Hindi, Kashmiri, and Punjabi also but we will discuss about the folk music that is Shina music. The language is the language of Indo-Aryan family. This language is also an unwritten language; hence the songs of the language are not written anywhere. These are in the heart & soul of the people and transfer from father to son and mother to daughter. These people also listen Kashmiri music and folklore in old Kashmiri Poetry and song. People of Gurez like to sing the song of this lady poet and they love her that’s why they named Gurez’s most formidable peak after her. In the modern days, a singer named Adil Gurezi also became very famous for his songs in Kashmiri, Hindi and Sheena language.

The musical instruments used by the folk for the music are very simple and basic instruments. These instruments are available easily in villages. The main instruments are as follow: –

Harmonium of Baja             –           A kind of pump organ.

Tumakandi                            –           Type of drum.

Nutes                                     –           Another kind of drum.

Roien of Ghungru               –           Anklet bells

Basically, the songs are slow and rhythmic and the music and the dance is also slow. This is also because of the geographical location of the place. The songs are based upon romance, folklore tales and natural beauty of the place. These keep the native people connected with their traditions, history and culture of the place. In folk music of Gurez the stories of Habba Khatun, Maharaha Hari Singh and old love stories have an important place. The music and songs are sung by a group of people. They take part in this group together which shows and boosts the gender equality of the place.

Gurez valley’s people are not the basic native of the place. According to the people of the place they came from Gilgit-Baltistan. That is why the language Shina, is the folk language of Gurez. Initially people used to come here for enjoyment and “Gurez‟ name also originated from the race of the horses.

Nowadays the folk music of the Gurez Valley has become the centre of attraction for tourism. Usually, the music which was played and is still played in marriages, births and other important occasions in the villages can be listened in the various festivals of the valley. Jammu and Kashmir government also organised “Gurez Festival” to promote the music and culture of the valley. If someone wants to enjoy the Guerzi music he can do the same in the various festivals and ceremonies which are popular in the Gurez valley.

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