A BOOK containing a collection of more than 100 original songs of South Asian heritage by Bradford and Keighley writers has been launched.

The project was the brainchild of Manningham Housing Association’s Sadar Uddin as a vehicle to revive, preserve and promote the writing of Baul music in Bradford, ahead of it becoming the UK City of Culture in 2025.

The district is home to numerous writers of Baul music - which originated in Bangladesh and West Bengal - but most of their work has never been published.

However, thanks to financial backing from the Bradford Council Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund, and the Leap Pioneer Programme, MHA has published two volumes of lyrics in both English and Bengali together with sheet music for local communities to access and enjoy.   

The launch of ‘Baul & Mystic Songs of South Asian Heritage Volumes 1 & 2’ was the focus of a unique community gathering at Prestige Hall in Bradford attended by many of the contributing writers, who received certificates to recognise their achievements.

Mr Uddin said: “This is the first ever project where Baul heritage music has been translated into English and into musical scores so that anyone from any musical background can play these songs.”