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Sinhala Music has historically originated from cultural traditions
mainly involving Buddhism. However Sinhala Music has later been
influenced by colonization specially by Portuguese. Further the
influence by the Indian culture & Hindi cinema has made a
significant impact of the Sinhala Music.
Sinhala Folk Music
Kavi (poems) are the main form of Sinhala folk music which historically originated from different castes of the society such as farmers, miners & cart drivers, etc. These kavi emerged as a way of relaxing & a way of getting away the loneliness & tiredness. Kavi is also sung in many folk & Buddhist rituals. Virindu is another Sinhala folk music tradition. It is closely related to Kavi and can be considered as an improvised form of kavi. However Virindu singing always accompanies the use of a folk musical instrument called rabana.
Music in Sinhala Music
Sinhala music received the influence of western classical music during the British colonial period in the early 19th century. Today western music is taught at schools as a subject at secondary schools and at tertiary level. Western music is widely popular in Sri Lanka now and most Sri Lankan artists have some form of formal education in Western music.
Baila in Sinhala Music
The genre of Baila originated from mixed communities of Portuguese, African and native Sinhalese people. Baila is essentially a form of dance music which has been now amalgamated with western musical instruments and rhythms.
Calypso in Sinhala Music
Calypso music in Sri Lanka is in fact a mixture of Caribbean Calypso with native baila. Calypso gained popularity in 1960s which got mixed up with Caribbean rhythms and baila music.
Pop, Rock, Rap & R&B Music in Sinhala Music
Pop, Rock, Rap & R&B music has gained a wide popularity in Sri Lanka in recent times. There are many Pop, Rap, Rock & R&B artists & groups performing in Sri Lanka. There are Sri Lankan artists who signed to international record labels as well. These forms of music are mainly popular among teenage & young adult community in the country.