Nepal has some thirty-six different ethnic groups and multiple religions and languages . Music of Nepal is similarly varied, with Nepalese pop music, Nepalese religious music, Nepalese classical music and Nepalese folk music being popular. Musical genres from Tibet and India have greatly influenced Nepalese music. Generally, women, even of the musician castes, do not play music except for specific situations, such as at the traditional all-female wedding parties.
Nepal has several castes of musicians. These include the damai, who are both musicians and tailors, and the gaine, who were originally fisherman but are now travelling minstrels. The gaine perform for various patrons in exchange for food or other necessaries. They typically play the sarangi , a four-stringed, hand-carved instrument . Damai are perhaps best-known for their participation in panchai baja , a form of weding band consisting of drums , horns cymbals and shawms . The highly-ritualized wedding ceremony includes a specific tune for the panchai baja to play in each section. In Kathmandu Valley , the panchai baja has been supplanted by brass bands .
The ancient Newar people are well-known for masked dances which tell stories of the gods and heroes. The music is percussion -based, sometimes with flutes or shawm accompanying the intense, nasal vocals.
Pop music is now a days is being heart of Nepalese musical industry. Light music , a blend of regional folk styles with the very-popular among Nepalese new generation, began its development with the 1952 foundation of Radio Nepal . Light music is pleasant and soft, generally featuring lovelorn lyrics in Nepalese . The first big Nepalese star was Dharma Raj Thapa who sang folk songs accompanied by film music scores.