Orissa ia a state of India, one of the musical centers of the South Asia. Travelling bards are a historic part of the country’s heritage. In the 11th century, Odissi folk music was codified into a classical style, related to other styles of Indian classical music. Though it has been claimed that the Odissi tradition was a separate style of classical music, it is more commonly said to be a kind of Hindustani music.
Like Hindustani and Carnatic systems, Odissi music is a separate system of Indian classical music and is having all the essential as well as potential ingredients of Indian Classical form. But it has not come to limelight due to apathy from the time of British rule in Orissa, want of its proper study, revival, propagation, etc. Despite the fact, the traditional music form could be saved and maintained in its pristine form. Thanks to the musicians particularly of Jaga Akhadas of Puri district, who could develop and maintain the music. The music movement of Orissa, however, took a different turn after independence.
Like other aspects of her culture, music of the sacred land (Orissa) is charming, colourful, variegated encompassing various types. The existing musical tradition of Orissa, the cumulative experience of the last two thousand five hundred years if not more, can broadly be grouped under five categories such as : (1) Tribal Music, (2) Folk Music, (3) Light Music, (4) Light-Classical Music, (5) Classical Music, which need a short elucidations for better understanding the subject in all India context.
The tribal music as the title signifies is confined to the tribals living mainly in the hilly and jungle regions and sparsely in the coastal belt of Orissa. It is interesting to note that Orissa has the third largest concentration of tribes constituting about one fourth of the total population. They are distributed over 62 tribal communities.
Orissa is the treasure house of Folk Songs which are sung on different festivals and specific occasions in their own enjoyment. Folk music in general is the expression of the ethos and mores of the folk communities. Of the bewildering variety of folk music of Orissa, mention may be made of Geeta, Balipuja Geeta, Kela Keluni Geeta, Dalkhai Geeta, Kendra Geeta, Jaiphula Geeta, Ghumura Geeta, Ghoda Nacha and Danda Nacha Geeta, Gopal Ugala and Osa-Parva-Geeta etc.
Bhajan, Janan, Oriya songs based on ragas, Rangila Chaupadi etc. are grouped under Light classical music, which forms an important segment of Orissan music. Sri Geetagovinda, Anirjukta Pravadha, Divya Manusi Prabandha, Chautisa, Chhanda, Chaupadi (now known as Odissi), Champu, Malasri, Sariman, Vyanjani, Chaturang, Tribhang, Kuduka Geeta, Laxana and Swaramalika are the various sub-forms, which individually or collectively constitute the traditional Odissi music. These sub-forms of the traditional Odissi music, can be categorised under the classical music of Orissa.