Islamabad - Folk artists, musicians, performers and dancers on Sunday enthralled the visitors during the ongoing Lok Mela here at Lok Virsa, Shakarparian.

Folk performances are the lifeline of the 10-day Mela where folk artists from different regions of the country exhibit their talent. The Mela aims to provide a platform to the upcoming artists and familiarise them with their audience so that they can enhance their skills.

Like previous festivals, this year folk artists from all around the country are taking part in the event. Folk music includes both traditional music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th century folk revival. The term originated in the 19th century but is often applied to music that is older than that.

Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, or as music with unknown composers. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. One meaning often given is that of old songs, with no known composers; another is music that has been transmitted and evolved by a process of oral transmission or performed by custom over a long period of time.

Starting in the mid-20th century, a new form of popular folk music evolved from traditional folk music. This process and period is called the (second) folk revival and reached a zenith in the 1960s. This form of music is sometimes called contemporary folk music or folk revival music to distinguish it from earlier folk forms.

The folkloric songs and dances are performed on occasions like celebration of the arrival of seasons, birth of a child, weddings and other festivals. The dances are extremely simple, rhythmic with a minimum of steps and movement. On most occasions, the dancers sing themselves, while being accompanied by artists on the instruments. At times men and women dance together. Here it is interesting to note that each dance has its own flamboyant costume which is ornamented with extensive jewels.

Also the rural musicians hailing from across the country participated in the Mela with full enthusiasm and gave spectacular performances inclusive of music, songs and lyrics of their respective areas.