Themes – The major themes on which Bhawaiya songs are generally based are spirituality, hardships of life, relation between men and women, desire for affection, pain of lost love, desire for pre-marital meetings, sufferings of early widowhood, late marriages of older women etc. Daily lives and livelihood of the people are intrinsic to the lyrics of Bhawaiya. Other common themes include 'Garial', 'Mahishal' and eternal love of Radha-Krishna.
Types — There are two main types of Bhawaiya songs - one is "Dariya" and another is "Chatka". Dariya is basically based on 4/4 rhythm and Chatka is based on 6/8 rhythm. Dariya is related to melancholy and Chatka is related to the joyous mood. Another variety of Bhawaiya songs is "Teora" which is based on 7/8 rhythm.
Instruments — Bhawaiya songs are Dotara-centric. Dotara is a four-stringed musical instrument. Khanjani, flute, and Sarinda are also used. Priorly, Khol, a percussion instrument was played with Bhawaiya. Later, Dhol, another percussion instrument became popular. Other musical instruments include Sanai, Bonga, Kartal, Kath-kartal, Kanshi, Harmonium, Tabla etc. The instruments are procured from local instrument makers.
There is no significant change in themes. The contemporary groups sometimes use chorus to present Bhawaiya songs. Nowadays, nylon wires replaced 'Kunkura' and 'Muga' threads of Dotara.