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Goa Music and Dance

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Goa, the Queen of Beaches, has a rich cultural heritage, inherited from several kingdoms in different eras. This influence can be observed in art, music, dance, temples, cuisine, architecture and almost every aspect of life pattern in Goa. It creatively combines the Eastern and the Western cultures and reflects a unique blend of traditional and contemporary music. The Portuguese and Israelis who ruled Goa for a long time, have clearly influnced the art forms. Music and dance in Goa carries the tradition that is over thousands of years old.

MusicIt is remarkable that people of Goa are trained and encouraged to learn music from a very young age in schools. That enthusiasm and love for music can be seen in every occasion and festival, whether big or small. Goans have a passion for singing, playing an instrument, and creating beats. Goa has a long list of cultural music and dances. The people in urban areas have adopted modern music styles while the rural areas are still known for traditional and folk music forms.

Ghumat, Shamel, Violin, Cymbals, Shehnai and Surt are the major instruments that are used in almost all types of Goan music. While visiting Goa, you can listen to the traditional music patterns such as- Suvari, Mando (a love song sung by Goan Catholics), Kunnbi-Gee, Painnem Halounk (cradle song), Dantear Ovio (sung while grinding wheat and rice). A few decades back, Goan culture was introduced to the Latin American tune, theatrical music and wedding music 'Ovi'. It is becoming very famous in urban areas. The real feel of Goan music can be witnessed during  the  Carnival celebrations. Goan Trance, a form of electronic music, popular since 1970, when hippies left the Goan shores, attracts most of the tourists from all over the world. From the church bells to the violins, Goa is known for fascinating and tempting music.

DanceBe it a Christian festival or a Hindu, be it sands or the shades, the Goan people have an obsession for dance to rhythmic musical patterns. Men, women and children actively participate in traditional dance forms. Goa's folk dances display old traditions, cultures, lifestyles and objectives of various religions, castes and stratum of the Goan society. Mussoll is a popular folk-play-cum-dance form through which the tale of victory of King Harihara II of the Vijayanagar empire over the Cholas is narrated to the viewers. Dakhni, Talgodi Dance and Foogddi are a few other traditional dance forms which are a major attraction for the tourists. Zagor is again a folk play popular in Goan villages performed by the Gawda community. You can see folk dramas such as Dashavatari, Goulankala, Ranmale, Rathkala, Corredinho Dance and Ghode Modni throughout the year.

Kunbi and Morulem are two traditional dance patterns that are performed by the tribes mainly on the Shigmo festival. Kunbi is performed by the women, by holding lamps on their heads. If you visit Goa during Navratas (October), you may also get the opportunity to see Dhangar, which is a great combination of worship and vigorous dance. Goff, popular in rural as well as urban areas, is an age-old dance which indicates the happiness of peasants after harvest.

Goan music and dance has a unique identity in terms of reflecting lifestyles, cultures and desires of society, and different religions.


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