Gurmat Sangeet is the devotional musical form of the Sikhs. It is also known by the name ‘shabad kirtan’. It combines the ‘bani’ (teachings of gurus and saints) with the ‘sangeet’ (music). This musical form was created during the time of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikh religion, in the 15th century.
Gurmat Sangeet is integral part of Sikh life, performed during the important ceremonies in life, right from the birth to the death. The teachings of various Gurus become a source of strength and guidance at the times of sorrow or trouble.
Gurmat Sangeet contains the teachings of saints other than those belonging to the Sikh religion. Since these saints preached in local language belonging to their regions, the songs in this musical forms is composed in various languages. There is a liberal use of local dialects. The musical form itself contains the elements of both classical and folk music. Apart from that, there is a strong influence of the ‘kafi’, which is a kind of Sufi music.