Most of India lives in her villages. The folk music of India - the music of the ordinary folk - is their music; the music of these multitudes who sing to celebrate, to grieve, to hope, to dance with Nature and to keep their spirits high amidst their stifling poverty.
Though no special training is required to sing folk music, often there are specialists within a village who perform either because they belong to a family or caste of performers or for payment.
Every state of India can boast of distinctive folk music like the Bhavageete, popular in many parts but more in Karnataka than in other places, the Bhangra of Punjab liked all over the country and gaining increasing attention from abroad, the Lavani of Maharashtra traditionally sung by women, Haryanvi music of Haryana, Uttarakhandi folk music that is rooted in Nature, the Dandiya and the Garba sung during the festival of Navaratri, the Pandavani popular in Chattisgarh, Orissa and Assam, Rajasthani music, the music of the Bauls of Bengal and the Dollu Kunita, the Kolata and the Veeragase of Karnataka.
The spread of film music has eroded the influence of folk music. However, it continues to remain part and parcel of the lives of the common people.
There are many tribal people scattered all over the country. The tribals also have their music which is different from folk music. Tribal music represents cultures that sometimes date back to a thousand years. In tribes, the music is considered to be the property of the community as a whole and as such, unlike folk singers, tribal singers always remain anonymous.