The folk music of Uttarakhand is primarily related to the various festivals, religious traditions, folk stories and simple life of the people of Uttarakhand. Thus the songs of Uttarakhand have been written keeping in the view of State Cultural Heritage and general public life.
Mangals, martial panwaras and melancholy khuded, thadya and jhora are top of the popular kind of songs in the state.
Musical instruments used in Uttarakhand music include the dhol, damoun, turri, ransingha, dholki, daur, thali, bhankora and masakbhaja. Tabla and harmonium are also used, but to a lesser extent.
The Music and its development have seen various phases of growth and have undergone lots of transformation during the course of time.
Following two musicians will never forget for their unforgettable contribution for state Folk Music:
- Shri Narendra Singh Negi who is considered to be the voice of Uttarakhand.
- Shri Gopal Babu Goswami who is considered to be a legend in Kumaon for his melodious voice.
Other famous personality associated with Kumaoni Folk Music is Mohan Upreti, who is known for his Nanda Devi Jagar & Rajula Malu Shahi Ballad.
Likewise Chander Singh Rahi is another popular singer, a balladeer and storyteller. His recordings are perhaps the most authentic to the hills and he incorporates many legends and folk tales into his rousing song.
In the past decade Uttarakhandi Music has seen a revolution after the offer by various Music Recording / Cassette Producing agencies such as Rama Video Cassette and T Series who have offered news talents from local areas to make their own Cassettes after getting their songs recorded in the Studios.
This has led to a sudden usurp of number of hidden talents from various corners of Uttarakhand which include famous personalities such as Kalpana Chauhan, Meena Rana, Anuradha Nirala, Fauji Lalit Mohan Joshi, Pritam Bharatwan, Gajendra Rana who have made their contribution to the Garhwali / Kumaoni Music by various hit songs / music albums over the period.
Also, with advance in Technology and easy availability of videocams and other recording devices, lots of talents have started producing music albums which has further led to popularization of Uttarakhandi folk dance. In fact, Garhwali/Kumaoni songs have gained so much popularity over the years that they have become integral part of the DJ Music being played during wedding and other functions.
With the rapid growth and popularity in Uttarakhandi Music and folk dances, the day is not far when any cultural / social functions / weddings / festivals / Discotheques would have some elements of Uttarakhandi Music and folk dances as an integral part.