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Rock Culture and Bengali Rock Bands

MUSIC… Music has always been my love and passion. Right from my childhood days, music has always been an integral part of me. Today, here, I take the opportunity to share my passion for Bengali Band Music with all of you. Bengal is a land of rich literary resource, numerous musical legends and a huge and very active middle class society. The land boasts of a plethora of talents in the cultural sphere including Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The genre of music which was almost absent from the scenario was Rock music. Bengali music first encountered a wave of modernization in the 1970’s. With Mohiner Ghoraguli and their new and experimental genre of music, the new generation of youngsters were encouraged to express their myriad emotions like nostalgia, aggression, pain and anguish more zealously in a common channel. This new trend in the musical sphere at that time did not find many takers. But the credit for the emergence of 500 plus Bangla Rock bands today will definitely be put to Mohiner Ghoraguli. Their alternative form of music was not able to grab the crowd during the 70’s , but they became the visionary for the upcoming bands and gave birth to rock culture in the land.

Today, most popular bands enjoy an advantageous position where their albums sell like hot cakes the moment they hit stores. Band performances are the ‘in-thing’ and draw huge crowds mostly comprising of young school and college students, notwithstanding the age defying music loving uncles and aunties. Bangla music is for everybody. Though there is a surge of very hard rock bands in the recent times, yet most Bangla bands make sure they retain the distinct Bengali flavor in their music in spite of the heavy guitars and drums. It is this blend of western instruments with indigenous lyrics and tunes that imparts Bangla music it’s distinctive charm. Kolkata proudly offers platforms like Nazrul Manch, Someplace Else to cater to the tastes of the hyper active and enthusiastic audience for English and Bengali rock music and also help the bands to showcase their creativity. Pioneering Bands like Chandrabindoo, Cactus, Bhoomi, Fossils,ParashPathor have carved a niche’ for themselves in the Bangla music scenario with their own distinctive style of music and performances. Bangla band music has become the lifeblood for the average Bengali youngsters. One can relate to the music as most of these popular songs portray the life of an average Bengali and his sentiments, his dreams and ambitions, his heartaches and infatuations, his joy and nostalgia, life and death. Various aspects of the society including it’s flaws are also offered to the people in lyrical form. Large segment of Bengalis are immensely inspired by this form of music and are even ready to quit promising careers to the call of their passion. They want to do something exclusive and more meaningful and be an inspiration for the future generations. For that they are ready to defy every impediment coming their way, be it tradition, critics or even cultural limitations.

Music is a medium that transgresses all limits and goes beyond all boundaries. Bengali music was always rich with Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti, songs by Atul Prasad Sen and also Adhunik or modern bengali songs. People dared to think beyond them and experiment with the other genres of music. The bengali bands broke the shackles and gave the audience the taste of rock music. Though most of the bands are influenced by western bands like Pink Floyd, The Doors and musicians like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Simon and Garfunkel, yet they have succeeded in keeping the distinct bengali touch in their tunes as well as lyrics. Bengali rock bands have come a long way and with a bright future ahead they have the the scope to spread the music far and wide.

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