(Last Updated on : 29/06/2012)
Marriage songs, in all traditional languages are classified as functional songs bring about a characteristic music of womenfolk of the respective society with stamp of different rituals observed in marriage functions. For every rite female folk compose separate songs. It is difficult for our shy womenfolk to demonstrate such songs publicly. As a result, these songs are going out of circulation. At some places compositions and music appear to be rich. In every local tradition of Bengali folk-song, Hindu female folk endeavoured to describe details of nuptial customs in songs. Marriage songs are widely available in Mymensingh, Dacca, Sylhet, Tripura of the eastern sector. These songs are also familiar in Paschim Medinipur District
, Purulia district
, and Jalpaiguri
. In Jalpaiguri district a class of marriage song, sung with accompaniment of clapping, is found to be a type similar to Assamese tradition. In Sylhet a song depicting dance tradition, the dance of the bride, Bou Nach by name, happens to be a popular item. In Bhaoaia references to Muslim marriages are available. Hindu customs are interpreted by incidents imbibed from the Puranas - the marriage of Hara-Parvati
, of Rama - Sita
, and episodes from the divine love of Radha
- Lord Krishna
. Humerous characterization of the bridegroom done in some places is a peculiar feature. Muslim peasants generally characterise everyday affair of the married girl in their songs to them. The girl is addressed as "Mayna". The typical ritual songs of the tribal people also need mention in this regard. In any case, these songs are more or less simple love songs initiated from different points of view of emotions and simple jokes which are offered to bride and bridegroom. Some of the tunes have received popular appreciation and have already been mixed up with popular tunes.
In Sylhet district, there was a custom to present the newly wedded, shy girl in a family dance festival. She would dress well and cover herself by a veil, and dance in a slow and elegant poise without any attempt at exhibitionism. Compositions of marriage songs were sporadic and spontaneous, since no system of method was followed in the process. The nature of music compositions and the subject matter indicate the timing as the later medieval age.
Since varieties of contributions are now available, songs may be so arranged that the entire festival with innumerable rites performed may be visualized through imagination. The ceremony starts when the negotiated marriage is fixed. Since then womenfolk congregate on every occasion and sing. Some common rituals may be found to exist in all quarters but customs differ in minor details.