Examples of Bengali music include Bengali classical music, rabindra sangeet, nazrul geeti, folk songs, adhunik gaan and modern, western-influenced popular music. These musical categories differ in their musical composition, lyrical content and adherence to tradition.
Bengali classical music is distinguished from other forms by the fact that it adheres to Raqas modal theory. Rabindra sangeet music, by comparison, is largely characterized by philosophical and poetic lyrical content. Examples of rabinda sangeet music include prayer, seasonal and patriotic songs.
Nazrul geeti is a style of music that incorporates the poetic works of the Bengali revolutionary Kazi Nazrul Islam. Bengali folk songs tend to focus on the lifestyles of traditional Bengali peasants, hermits and fishermen.
Adhunik gaan is a genre of modern music that originates just prior to the Bengali revolution and is typically further categorized by the specific area it originates from. This style of music is very popular among Bengali middle-class families.
Western-influenced Bengali music consists of well-known international genres such as pop, rock and hip hop. A Bengali underground rock scene incorporates elements of traditional Bengali music with elements derived from modern rock that started becoming popular in the late 80s. Bengali hip hop is heavily influenced by U.S. hip hop and began its rise to popularity in the early 2000s.