The term ‘bhangra’ describes the traditional agricultural folk music of the Punjab, but has come to be applied to all modern Asian pop music. It began in the UK in the late 1970s, but is still rooted in traditional folk songs. Its rhythms have been adapted to modern musical instruments with the traditional tumbi, dholkie and tabla providing the unique bhangra sounds. Groups like Heera, Alaap and Chirag Pechan dominate the scene, but individuals such as Apache Indian, Bally Sagoo and Johnny Zee have also become well known and have had a major impact on the mainstream music scene. Exceptions to the rule of all-male performers are Sangeeta, Najma Ahktar and Sabeena. Bhan-gra groups are much in demand for performance at weddings.
   See also: Asian underground
   Further reading
    Sharma, S., Hutnyk, J. and Sharma, A. (eds) (1996) Dis-Orienting Rhythms: The Politics of the New Asian Dance Music, London: Zed Books.

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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