So far the most famous expression of Bengali music, with a collection of
over two thousand songs, is Rabindranath Tagore (he is known in Bengali as
Robi Thakur and also as Gurudev, the latter means the “Divine Teacher").
His songs are respectfully and affectionately called Rabindra Sangeet. These songs cover topics from devotion, romance, nature and seasons, to patriotism. Rabindranath Tagore's earlier works had been inspired by the Lilas of lord Krishna . His latter works involve the transcendentalism of the Upanishads.
Some of the most important Rabindra Sangeet artistes are Hemanta Mukhopadhyay, Shantidev Ghosh, Kanika Bandyopadhyay, Suchitra Mitra, Shailajaranjan Majumdar, Pankaj Kumar Mullick, Debabrata Biswas, and Bajpaie etc.
Another very influential body of work in Bengali music is that of Kazi Nazrul Islam. They constitute what is popularly known as the Nazrul geeti. Some of the famous Nazrulgeeti singers include Dhirendra Chandra Mitra, Suprova Sircar, Dr. Anjali Mukhopadhyay, Manabendra Mukhopadhyay, Purabi Dutta, Dhiren Bose, Sohrab Hossain, Firoza Begum, Anup Ghoshal etc.
The Other forms of Bengali music which are shared by West Bengal of India and by Bangladesh, are from the songs and poetry of Kabir, Nidhu Babu, Atulprasad SenLalon Fakir, Rajanikanta Sen, Dwijendralal Ray, and a large collection of patriotic songs from the Greater India's movement of Independence.
The concept of patriotism entered Bengali music with the establishment of Hindu Mela in the year 1867. The patriotic style of music was a major constituent of Bengali music until India gained independence in the year 1947.
Singers like Hemanta MukhopadhayayManna Dey, Sandhya Mukhopadhyay are associated with Modern Bengali.