Kavishri is a style of singing developed by Guru Gobind Singh, one of the Sikh gurus. It is a very dynamic form of singing, employing no musical instruments. The enthusiasm in which the songs are sung compensates for the lack of instruments. The songs are themed around historic events.
There are a total of 9 ‘rasas’ (flavors) in the Kavishri style, the prominent ones being ‘hasya ras’ (comic), ‘shant ras’ (quiet), ‘verag ras’ (mystic) and ‘veer ras’ (heroic). Songs exhibiting the ‘veer ras’ flavor are more common these days.
On some occasions, Kavishri is employed in the praise of an individual or the event. These songs are composed just before the singer commences singing.