Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1994


Under the impact of the mass media, capitalist socio-economic relations, and other aspects of modernity, many Indian folk music genres have declined visibly and even disappeared, and it may be tempting to conclude that folk music as a whole has suffered in the twentieth century. However, a number of significant folk music genres have not only survived but flourished in the twentieth century, in some cases by virtue of their ability to syncretize elements of other traditions. One such genre is rasiya, which, in its various substyles, is the most popular and widespread folk music genre of the Braj region. In this article I focus on the most prominent forms of rasiya, outlining aspects of their textual and melodic syncretism, and suggesting hwo these features contribute tot eh continued appeal of the genre. In the process I will also present a certain amount of relevant introductory descriptive data, given the dearth of available scholarly publications on the genre, which consist primarily of an earlier work of mine (Manuel 1993: ch. 9), and a very substantial, informative, but unfortunately unpublished Hindi Ph.D. these (Banerjee 1986).


This work was originally published in the Journal of Vaiṣṇava Studies.



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