India | Punjab


Tappa is a light classical music form, which originated in the north-western region of Punjab. This genre of singing was popularized by Kumara Gandharva, a distinguished Khayal singer.

Tappa is believed to be originally sung by the camel riders in the desert region. The songs are themed around love, describing the meeting and separation of many legendary lovers of Punjab. The language used is the typical Punjabi of olden days. The ‘ taal’ (beat) used during the song contains 7 beats and 16 beats set in the 4x4 structure. The lyrics are repeated in linear and circular manner, interleaved with music. The rhythm is fast paced. To become a singer of Tappa requires great deal of improvisation and discipline.

The Tappa style of music has been incorporated in the ‘Khayal’ and ‘ Thumri’, each containing a version of its own called ‘Tap-Khayal’ and ‘Tap-Thumri’ respectively. Tappa has greatly influence the style of singing in the Natya Sangeet and Bhajans of Maharashtra.

Updated on 30th June, 2015

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