The Development of Bengali Art

Music, painting, drama, and dance all play a part in the culture of Bangladesh, as do the traditional practices of Jatra and Alpona. Discussion about the development of Bengali art are mention below:

Development of Bengali Art


Music has a rich and diverse tradition. Various forms of Bangla music that developed over time included the following:

Kirtan: Songs in praise of God, gods, and goddesses, and their attributes.

Kavigan: These poetic songs date back to around the 18th or 19th century, and the singers of these songs were called Kaviyals. The Kaviyals, who knew religious texts and rural life very well, had to compose questions and answers as they performed. They depended on ready wit and skills in producing verses to defeat their vivals in these poetic contests. The noise and tempo of drums, kansi, bells, or Mandira rose or went down in tune with the debate.

Jatra song: The Jatra song originated in Bangladesh in the 16th and 18th centuries and is an important part of our folk culture. Some of the most well-known ballads of Bengal are the Maimansingha Gitika nad Purbabanga Gttika. The history of all aspects of life in Bengal is found in these ballads. Some of the popular Bangla ballads. Some of the popular Bangla ballads include Mahuya, Maluya, Kanka o Lila, Kajalrekha, Chandravati, Kamala, Deoyan Bhabna, Dasyu Kenaramer Pala, Rupavati-Deoyan Madina, and Alal-Dulaler Pala. These ballads were not just popular oral performances, they have also inspired both plays and movies.

Classical Music: Songs based on classical ragas became popular in Bengal towards the end of the 18th century. Ustad Alauddin Khan and Ustad Ayet Ali Khan are two names in classical instrumental music that are internationally known.

Early modern songs: The urbanization that started in the early years of the 19th century saw the beginning of modern Bangla songs. Rabindranath Tagore, Dwijendralal, Rajanikanta, Atulpgrsad, and Nazrul Islam are still held in considerable regard as they combined attractive tunes with meaningful lyrics. Although other poets tried to copy this idea, the songs of these five poets, who draw from both classical and folk traditions, are unique. Nazrul Islam was the contribution was to the development of the Bangla ghazal.

Modern songs: Modern songs drew many talented singers, varied themes, tones, and styles. Some of the most famous names you may hear are Hemanta Mukherjee, Kishore Kumar, Satinath, Manna De, Lata Mangeshkar, Abdul Jobbar, Sabina Yasmin, Runa Laila, Abida Sultana, Abdul Hadi, Fakir Alamgir, Sadi Mohammed, Sahnaj Rohomotullah, Andrew Kishore and Mahamudduzzaman Babu. One variant of modern songs is pop and band songs which are also becoming popular.

Bangladesh has a good number of musical instruments originally of her own. Originally country musical instruments include Banshi (bamboo flute), Dhole (wooden drums), Ektara (a single-stringed instrument), Dotata (a four-stringed instrument), Mandira(a pair of metal balls used as rhythm instrument), Khanjani, Sharinda, etc. Nowadays, western instruments such as guitar, drums, saxophone, synthesizer, etc. are being used alongside country instruments.

Development of Bengali Art
Development of Bengali Art


There is a rice tradition of painting Bangladesh which was pioneered by Zainul Abedin (see section A), Kamrul Hassan, Anwarul Haque, Saifuddin Ahmed, and S.M. Sultan. Other famous artists of Bangladesh you may have heard of include Abdur Razzak, Qayyum Chowdhury, Murtaza Basser, Aminul Islam, Dabdas Chakraborty, Kazi Abdi Baset, Syed Jahangir and Mohammad Kirbria, amongst many others.


Drama in Bangladesh has an only tradition and is very popular. In Dhaka, more than a dozen theatre groups have been regularly staging locally written plays, as well as those adopted from famous writers, mainly of European origin. Popular theatre groups are Dhaka Theatre, Nagarik Natya Sampraday, and Theatre.

In Dhaka, the Bailey Road area is known as Natak Para, where drama shows are regularly held. The Public Library Auditorium and Museum Auditorium are famous for holding cultural shows. The Dhaka University area is a pivotal part of cultural activates.


Bangladeshi dance is based largely on the classical form of dance as seen elsewhere in the sub-continent. There are also influences from folk, tribal, and Middle Eastern dance.

Among the tribal dances, particularly popular are Manipuri and santal, Rural girls are in the habit of dancing that does not require any grammar or regulations. Bangla songs like Jari and Shariare presented with dance by both males and females performed.


Jatra (folk drama) is another form of traditional culture. It draws from mythological episodes of love and tragedy. Legendary plays of heroism are also popular, particularly in rural areas.

Even just a few decades ago, Jatra was the most popular entertainment in the countryside. Gradually, western forms of plays are replacing traditional cultural forms like Jatra.


Traditional art and paintings include the alpona as one of the major art forms, which is a fantastic collection of designs and motifs put together in geometrical shapes. These motifs reflect the flora and fauna of Bangladesh.

Alpona, which was once restricted to rituals held in the villages only, has now become a part of modern art and craft. No Bengali Hindu or Muslim wedding is seen without the drawing of Alappona. On every Ekushe February, many streets and walls in the country are marked with alpona.


Other forms of art and drawing, collectively called the Chitro, include:

  • Ongo-Chitro-body painting
  • Chal Chitro-making of clay sculptures
  • Deh-al Chitro-painting of designs on walls
  • Ghot Chitro-pot painting
  • Ghuri Chitro-kite painting
  • Krtra pot Chitro-scroll paint about games
  • Piri Chitro-wood paining
  • Pot Chitro-fabric painting
  • Shara Chitro-painting of pot and pan lids
  • Kurundi Chitro-soft-reed painting
  • Kushti Chitro-drawing of genealogical tables of horoscopes
  • Mukush Chitro-mask painting.

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