What is Thumri in Indian Classical Music?

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What is Thumri in Indian Classical Music?

What is Thumri in Indian Classical Music?

Thumrī is a common genre of semi-classical Indian music. The term "thumri" is derived from the Hindi verb thumakna, which means "to walk with dancing steps so as to make the ankle-bells tinkle." The form is, thus, connected with dance, dramatic gestures, mild eroticism, evocative love poetry and folk songs of Uttar Pradesh, though there are regional variations.

The Thumri is yet another form of rendering ragas. However, this very popular, light classical form of Hindustani music is limited to specific ragas whose key emotion is lyricism and eroticism, e.g. Bhairavi, Gara, Pilu. Effective wordplay usually characterizes a thumri and chiefly associated with folk songs of UP and Punjab, the thumri is composed in dialects of Hindi.

The text is romantic or devotional in nature and usually, revolves around a girl's love for Krishna. The lyrics are usually in Uttar Pradesh dialects of Hindi called Awadhi and Brij Bhasha. Thumri is characterized by its sensuality, and by a greater flexibility with the raag.

Thumrī is also used as a generic name for some other, even lighter, forms such as Dadra, Hori, Kajari, Saavan, Jhoola, and Chaiti, even though each of them has its own structure and content — either lyrical or musical or both — and so the exposition of these forms vary. Like Indian classical music itself, some of these forms have their origin in folk literature and music.
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