Music in Nepal | Introduction to Nepali Music

newari songs

All about Music in Nepal

Nepali music or Music in Nepal includes the multiple musical genres played or listened to in Nepal. The music taste of Nepali people is different from having more than 50 ethnic groups and each of them having their own kind of music, choices and different sound of Nepali musical instruments. Mostly popular musical genres of Nepali music are Lok Dohori, Tamang Selo, Movie Songs, Classical Songs, Ghazal, Bhajan, Adhunik Songs or Modern Music, etc. But nowadays people are getting a taste of western music genres like Hip-hop, pop, rock, metal, R&B, and Rap music.

Music of Nepal

Music in Nepal – Genres

Nepali music genre covers several genres of music from classical music, Lok Dohori song, Modern Song to Ethnic based songs. It does not matter the song is in what language or which genre, Music is a separate world with a language we all understand.


Some of the popular music genres of music in Nepal are

  1. Lok Dohori Songs


    Lok Dohori is one of the most popular types of folk songs. Lok Dohori songs are like a debate in the form of music in Nepal which involves quick reply and witty poetry. It is a two side song debate where boys start a musical conversation with a question and girls follow that question and replies with relevant Nepali rhymes and the musical conversation goes on like this.
    It can last up to 7 days.
  1. Adhunik Geet/ Modern Music in Nepal

    Modern songs or Nepali adhunik songs are a popular choice of Nepali music enthusiasts, also known as sugam sangit. The most popular legends of these soft and melodious genres are late Narayan Gopal, also known as King of voice “swor samrat”, and Aruna Lama who have sung hundreds of Nepali songs.
ethnic music in nepal
  1. Western Music – Rock/Hip-Hop


    With the growth of Nepali music and industry, western music genres like Rock/hip-hop songs or Nepali Rap songs are getting so much popularity especially among teenagers in Nepal. The emerging craze of Nepali music lovers for Pop and rock songs is making the Nepali music industry more complete and big.
  1. Classical Music


    Classical Music, probably the oldest genre of Music in Nepal, and it is also popular in India as well. There are plenty of classical singers and bands in Nepal such as Sukarma, Trikaal, Kutumba, Sur-Sudha, etc. There are several classical music organization in Nepal such as SK Gurukul Sangeet Pathshala, Nepal Sangit Vidyalaya, Kala Nidhi Sangeet Vidyalaya, Kirateshwor Sangeet Ashram, Ram Mandir, Gandharva Sangeet Vidyalaya, Atul Music Memorial Gurukul, etc. who have been working for years to push classical Music in Nepal to the new level.
  1. Ethnic Music


    Ethnic Music in Nepal like Gurung Music, Tamang Music, Kirat Music, Magar Music, Newar Music, Tharu Music, Sherpa Music, etc, display the cultural insight of their particular ethnicity. Ethnic music is modernized and now uses and played with modern instruments.
    Popular Ethnic Music in Nepal are

    a)Gurung Music


    Gurung community has an interesting and old tradition of Rodhi or where several people from the village gather in one place and they dance and sing to folk songs using Nepali musical instruments. There is popular dance form like Ghantu and Chudka which are centuries old and can be performed in group and solo, they are still performed in popular Gurung Villages like Ghandruk and Ghorepani.

    b)Magar Music


    There is an existence of Magar Music in Nepal but it is not so popular as compare to Gurung Music and Maithili Music but Kauda, Salaijo, and Sorathi are the famous Nepali music genres of Magar music and Salaijo is the most famous among them.

    c)Sherpa Music


    Sherpa Music is similar to Tibetan Music which is mostly religious, which reflects the influence of Tibetan Buddhism. There is still the existence of Sherpa Music in the Trans-Himalayan Region.

    d)Newa Music


    Newa music is a form of music developed and still followed by Newar Community around Kathmandu valley. Newar songs like Sirsaya Hegu is quite famous among Nepalese.

    e)Tharu Music


    Tharu music is one of the ancient music types in Nepal which is still followed in the Western part of Nepal. Tharu culture, dance, and music is very famous in the Chitwan district. Maghiya, Dashainya, and Sajana are famous songs in Tharu Language.

    f) Tamang Music


    Tamang Selo music form is well known among Tamang Community which is accompanied by Tungna and Damphu.

    g)Maithili Music


    Maithili music is not only popular in Nepal but in entire South Asia which is originated from Mithila region. The famous singers or contributors to Maithili Music are Dilip Darbhangia, Muralidhar, Udit Narayan Jha, Maha Kavi Vidyapati Thakur, Sunil Pawan, and Sharda Sinha.
  1. Pop and Rap songs


    The pop and Rap genre of music is famous among Nepali youngsters and other peoples as well. Young generations are nowadays fond of pop and adhunik songs. We can find the majority of pop and rap genre lovers than other genres in Nepal these days. Popular singers like Raju Lama, Nabin K Bhattarai, Sugam Pokhrel, Yama Buddha(Anil Adhikari), Girish Khatiwada, Samir Ghising(VTEN), Aashish Rana(Laure) are the major contributors to Rap and pop genre.

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