The music of Pakistan can be categorized into six general groups:
classical, semi-classical, ghazal, folk, qawwali devotional, filmi,
pop, rock. These categories overlap considerably, and many artists
are able to perform in more than one of the listed genres. It has
much in common with Indian music, although it has a regional flavor
of its own.
In Pakistan the main form of classical music is a performing art,
classical music in Pakistan is fast disappearing, however it still
forms the basis of most other musical genres (save for pop/rock).
Ghazal and qawwali music make use of many musical instruments such
as the (sitar, tabla, harmonium, santoor etc). Pakistani folk, filmi
and even some pop/rock also hold some classical elements.
Many Pakistani musicians of other genre (particularly ghazal,
qawwali and folk musicians) therefore are nonetheless trained in
Subcontinent classical, and often belong to a gharana.
One of the most prominent gharanas in Pakistan is the Patiala
gharana, to which the great Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and the
brothers Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and Ustad Bade Fateh Ali Khan belong.
Ghazal is the name of a poetic form, but musically Ghazal gayaki
refers to the form of music in which the poem is sung. Ghazal gayaki
is often termed semi classical music. Most Ghazal singers are
trained in classical music and sing in either Khyal or Thumri. Some
of the most famous Pakistani Ghazal singers are Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam
Ali, Farida Khanum, Iqbal Bano, Abida Parveen, Nayyera Noor, Malika
Phukhraj and Tahira Syed.
Mehdi Hassan Khan Sahib is considered one of the greatest Ghazal
singers of the sub-continent.
Folk & Sofiana Kalam Each of Pakistan's four provinces has its on variatian of
popular folk music. Bhangra is a Punjabi folk dance has become
popular all over Pakistan.
Dama Dum Must Kalander Dhamal
One of the most dynamic and popular music of Pakistan is qawwali,
which has been internationally popularized by stars like Sabri
Brothers, Aziz Mian and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Qawwali, in multiple
forms, is widespread throughout Pakistan and Northern India.
Qawwali refers to both the performance and the genre of music.
Qawwals typically consist of a lead vocalist, two back-up vocalists
and any number of percussionists. Qawwalis are traditionally led by
a sheikh and are meant to help the audience realize the mystical
ideals of Sufi Islam. Amir Khusrau is said to have invented qawwali
in the 13th century; the legendary poet and composer is also said to
have invented the tabla and sitar. The idea of music (sama)
inspiring an understanding and love for the divine and communication
with spiritual guides is known from at least the 9th century.
Orthodox Muslims sometimes criticize qawwali for its erotic imagery
and sometimes frank sensuality.
Qawwali is similar to Subcontinent's musical genres; it has three
components: a rhythm (traditionally played on the dholak), the
melodic line of the vocals, and the pitch of the melody which is
reinforced on harmonium. Poetic verses are usually mixed with a
chorus and instrumental passages. Traditional languages used include
Urdu containing much Persian and Arabic, an ancient form of Sanskrit
called braj bhasha, as well as Punjabi. The ancient tradition of
tarana, a rhythmic series of nonsensical syllables with meaning only
to the singers, if anyone, has helped lead a fusion with qawwali and
jazz, due to the parallel practice of scat singing. Qawwali fusion
with filmi and Western pop music have achieved some popularity, with
attendant criticism from purists for allegedly watering down the
sacred sound of qawwali. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Aziz Mian Sabri
Brothers and Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali Group have become especially
popular, especially after Nusrat's collaborations with Michael Brook
(a Canadian producer), resulting in the unexpected hit of "Mustt
Mustt", remixed by Massive Attack and popularized by its use in a
Coca-Cola television commercial. Those who have seen Hollywood
flicks Last Temptation of Christ, Natural Born Killer, Dead Man
Walking should be fimilar with Nusrat's compositions.
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