Sikh music or Shabad kirtan is Kirtan-style singing of hymns or Shabad from the Guru Granth Sahib, the central text of Sikhism.
It began in the 16th century as the musical expression of mystical poetry conceived by the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. Following him, all the Sikh gurus sang in the then-prevalent classical and folk music styles, accompanied by stringed and percussion instruments. The style was where the text was of prime significance and the music played a supporting, albeit important, role. The Gurus specified the raag in which they sang each hymn in the Sikh sacred scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib. Sixty raags were and sixtyraag variants were named. Several raag variants are unique to the Sikh music tradition.
While Hindustani music underwent significant changes in the setting of Mughal courts, and a separate stream of Carnatic music developed in southern India, Sikh music retained its original form and styles, a unique musical tradition encompassing a variety of melodic forms and a well-developed percussive system.
In the 20th century the classical style was largely replaced by contemporary popular genres often based on Indian film music. Within the remaining classical tradition, the devotional Gurmat Sangeet style was overtaken by the darbaari khayal style. The harmonium took the place of stringed instruments and the tabla replaced the pakhaavaj and jori.
Significant efforts have been under way since the 1970s to revive the rich Sikh music tradition initiated and developed by the Sikh Gurus. Various terms used to refer to this tradition include Shabad keertan parampara, Gurbani sangeet parampara and Gurmat sangeet.
Saints with realized soul are very rare in this world. It is really a very difficult task to write their life sketch. They look like any ordinary person but are internally merged with the super cosmic energy. An ordinary person as mentioned in Gurbani cannot describe their spiritual experiences.Only realized soul can understand about another super soul.
The best way of spiritual development for people with social commitment is sacred music.It produces a kind of detachment in the midst of family life.The Gurus regarded kirtan as particularly suitable to the household's way of life.Guru Arjan says: "He who day and night chants kirtan remains detached in his household."
Kirtan makes one fall more in love with the Gurshabad. Try doing kirtan with sincerity and emotion then do nitnem or any paath rite afterwards and see the difference for yourself. Even if you dont know how to do kirtan on the vaja you should still do it with your heart or mind as this too still counts. Also going to sangat and singing and listening to kirtan is of paramount benefit. Without these acts the seeker does not reach far in Bhagti. You dont need to be a musician or have a perfect voice to do kirtan all you need is a heart and devotion. The more practice of kirtan the more devotion we build up.