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There are several kinds of folk music in Bengal, each with their own characteristics. Some of them are sung usually by a certain group of people. The three well-known forms of Bengali folk music are the Baul, Bhatiyali and Baowaia.

Baul: Baul is one of the few widely known and appreciated types of folk music in Bengal. Baul is not only merely a kind of music, but it is basically a Bengali religious sect. The members of the sect are themselves called Bauls, and the songs they sing are named after them as Baulgan (Baul songs). The Baul costume consists of a half-dhoti and an alkhalla (saffron robes). The instruments extensively used by the Bauls are Gopiyantro (often called "ektara"), khamak, dotara, ghungur, nupur and duggi. Some of the well-known exponents of Baul music include Lalon Phakir, Naboni Das Khepa, Purno Chandra Das, Yotin Das Bau and Sonatan Das Thakur Baul.

Bhatiyali: It is usually sung by the boatsmen.

Bhaowaia (Bhaoyaiya): It is the typical folk music from northern part of Bengal.



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