Music of Pakistan
|Music of Pakistan|
|Media and performance|
Lux Style Awards |
Pakistan Media Awards
All Pakistan Music Conference |
Lahore Music Meet
|Nationalistic and patriotic songs|
|National anthem||Qaumi Taranah|
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The Music of Pakistan includes diverse elements ranging from music from various parts of South Asia as well as Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and modern-day Western popular music influences. With these multiple influences, a distinctive Pakistani sound has been formed.
In poetry, the ghazal is a poetic form consisting of couplets which share a rhyme and a refrain. Each line must share the same meter. Etymologically, the word literally refers to "the mortal cry of a gazelle". The animal is called Ghizaal, from which the English word gazelles stems, or Kastori haran (where haran refers to deer) in Urdu. Ghazals are traditionally expressions of love, separation and loneliness, for which the gazelle is an appropriate image. A ghazal can thus be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation of the lover and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The structural requirements of the ghazal are more stringent than those of most poetic forms traditionally written in English. In its style and content it is a genre which has proved capable of an extraordinary variety of expression around its central theme of love and separation between lovers.
The ghazals can be written by male poets for women as well as by female poets for men, as an expression of one's feelings about mutual love and whatever comes in that package- accompanying joys, frustrations, disappointments, fulfillments and satisfactions.
The ghazal spread into South Asia in the 12th century under the influence of the new Islamic Sultanate courts and Sufi mystics. Exotic to the region, as is indicated by the very sounds of the name itself when properly pronounced as ġazal. Although the ghazal is most prominently a form of Urdu poetry, today, it has influenced the poetry of many languages. Most Ghazal singers are trained in classical music and sing in either Khyal or Thumri.
Notable composers and performers of Ghazal
- Ahmed Rushdi- film playback singer
- Abida Parveen-Composer and performer
- Amanat Ali Khan- performer of semi-classical ghazals
- Amjad Bobby-film Music Composer
- Asad Amanat Ali Khan
- Barkat Ali Khan-Composer and performer of semi-classical ghazals
- Farida Khanum- performer of semi-classical ghazals
- Ghulam Ali-Composer and performer
- Habib Wali Mohammad- performer
- Iqbal Bano- performer
- Khawaja Khurshid Anwar-film music Composer
- M Ashraf- film music Composer
- Muhammad Ifrahim
- Malika Pukhraj- composer and performer
- Master Abdullah- film music Composer
- Mehdi Hassan- composer and performer
- Munni Begum- composer and performer
- Naheed Akhtar- film playback singer
- Nayyara Noor- film and non-film playback singer
- Noor Jehan- film and non-film playback singer
- Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan- Composer and performer
- Rasheed Attre- film music Composer
- Roshan Ara Begum-Semi-classic ghazals
- Sajjad Ali- composer and performer of all kinds of Pakistani music
- Saif Ullah Baig - Composer and performer
- Tahira Syed- performer
- Tassawar Khanum- film and non-film performer
- Tina Sani- TV performer
- Usman Warsi
- Ustad Badar uz Zaman-Semi-classic ghazals
- Waqar Ali- film and TV Composer
- Nadeem Salamat-" composer and music teacher "
Qawwali (Urdu: قوٌالی) is the devotional music of the Chishti Sufis. Qawwali is a vibrant musical tradition that goes back more than 700 years in old India. Originally performed mainly at Sufi shrines throughout India, it has also gained mainstream popularity. Qawwali music received international exposure through the work of the late Bakhshi Salamat, Aziz Mian, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Sabri Brothers, largely due to several releases on the 'Real World' label, followed by live appearances at WOMAD festivals. Listeners, and often artists themselves are transported to a state of wajad, a trance-like state where they feel 'one with God', generally considered to be the height of spiritual ecstasy in Sufism. The roots of Qawwali can be traced back to the 8th century Persia, however, Qawwali in the form we know it today, was essentially created by Amir Khusrau in the late 13th century in old India.
During the first major migration in the 11th century, the musical tradition of Sama migrated to South Asia from Turkey. Rumi and his Mevlana order of Sufism have been the propagators of Sama in Central Asia. Amir Khusrau of the Chisti order of Sufis is credited with fusing the Turkish, Persian, Arabic, and South Asian musical traditions, to create Qawwali as well as the classical music tradition. The word "Sama" is used (or is the preferred name) in Central Asia and Turkey, for forms very similar to Qawwali while in Pakistan, the formal name used for a session of Qawwali is "Mehfil-e-Sama".
Instruments used in Qawwali
- Rubab (instrument)
- Ektara *Gharha *Keyboard
- Dafli or Daf
Humnawa in qawwali groups
Absence of women-singers from all-male qawwali groups: a historical perspective
A group of qawwali musicians, called Humnawa in Urdu, typically consists of eight or nine men. Women are usually excluded from traditional Muslim music as ' respectable women' are traditionally prohibited from singing in mixed-gender public gatherings. Traditionally over the centuries, this has been the practice per the general interpretation of Islamic Law by the religious scholars. Although women are encouraged to hold their own 'Women Only' gatherings for reciting religious 'Naats' and holding live dance and music parties with musical instruments on 'Just- Before- Weddings-Mehndi' celebrations. This again, has to be a 'Women Only' event per the long practiced tradition where Islam generally discourages mixed-gender gatherings among unmarried women and unmarried men. Although in the 20th century, the so-called modern era, actual practice among Islamic societies, has been that one will see a lot of female musicians and female singers holding public concerts for both men and women. For evidence, one can just read the musician name lists on this page to spot a lot of female names on those lists now.
Notable composers and performers in Qawwali
- Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Shahenshah-e-Qawwali
- Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
- Abida Parveen
- Munshi Raziuddin
- Sabri Brothers
- Amjad Sabri
- Qawwal Bahauddin
- Ateeq Hussain Khan
- Iqbal Hussain Khan Bandanawazi
- Aziz Mian
- Fareed Ayaz
- Javed Bashir
- Badar Ali Khan (Badar Miandad)
- Sher Miandad
Religious forms of music
There is a large number of hamd and naat singers in Pakistan. This is a type of Islamic religious music where poetical verses of the love for God (Allah) is expressed. Some of the most famous artists include Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, along with his nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. There are Sabri Brothers Qawwal, Qawwal Bahauddin Khan from Karachi.
Hamd and Naat
'Hamd' is also used extensively in Christian religious music from Pakistan and all over the world where people from this region are found. 'Hamd' is not the exclusive domain of any religion. As pointed out – it denotes praise to God, it is more extensively used in the Muslim world. It is usually used in conjunction with the Sanna (praise) and referred to as 'Hamd – o – Sanna'. 'Naat' denotes praise to the prophet Muhammad.
The dafli, also popularly known as daf, dappler or tambourine, is a must for weddings. Made of wooden ring with a double row of bells and a playing surface with a 10" diameter, our dafli is a perfect accompaniment to the dholki. The pleasant sound of the dafli will elevate the tempo and mood of all celebrations. Easy to play with no beforehand practice required – with these daflis anyone can add to the music played in weddings and other celebrations.
Classical music of Pakistan
Classical music of Pakistan is based on the traditional music of South Asia which was patronized by various empires that ruled the region and gave birth to several genres of classic music including the Klasik and Hindustani classical music. The classical music of Pakistan has two main principles, ‘sur’ (musical note) and ‘lai’ (rhythm). The systematic organization of musical notes into a scale is known as a raag. The arrangement of rhythm (lai) in a cycle is known as taal. Improvisation plays a major role during a performance.
The major genres of classical music in Pakistan are dhrupad and khayal. Dhrupad is approaching extinction in Pakistan despite vocalists like Ustad Badar uz Zaman, Ustad Hafeez Khan and Ustad Afzal Khan have managed to keep this art form alive. Khayal is the most popular genre of classical music in Pakistan as it is also enjoyed with much enthusiasm in Afghanistan.
There are many families from gharanas of classical music who inherited the music from their forefathers and are still performing. Some famous gharanas are: Qwaal Bacha gharana (Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Rahat Fateh Ali khan belong to this gharana), and Patiala Gharana (Shafaqat Amanat Ali Khan belongs to this gharana). Number of other gharanas are present in Pakistan which serve classical music. Some classical musicians like Ustad Badar uz Zaman do not belong to any famous gharana but has served classical music enormously. The legendary sitar player Mohammad Sharif Khan Poonchhwaley belongs to Poonch gharana of sitar. Ustad Rais Khan is another prominent sitar player of Pakistan.
Shaukat Hussain, Tari Khan and Tafo Khan have been exponents of classical tabla playing from Pakistan. Talib Hussain was one of the last remaining pakhawaj players of Pakistan and was a recognized practitioner of the Punjab gharana style of drum-type instruments.
Pakistani folk music deals with subjects surrounding daily life in less grandiose terms than the love and emotion usually contained in its traditional and classical counterpart. In Pakistan, each province has its own variation of popular folk music.
Pakistan has created many famous singers in this discipline such as the late Alam Lohar, who was very influential in the period from 1940 until 1979: he created the concept of jugni and this has been a folk song ever since, and he sang heer, sufiana kalaams, mirza, sassi and many more famous folk stories. Other famous folk singers include Sain Zahoor and Alam Lohar from Punjab and Allan Fakir and Mai Bhaghi from Sindh, Akhtar Chanal Zahri from Baluchistan and Zarsanga from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, who is considered the queen of Pashto folk music.
The music of Balochistan province is very rich and full of varieties due to the many different types of languages which are spoken in the province, including Balochi, Pashto, Brahui, Dari and Saraiki.
Music from the Punjab province includes many different varieties. One can read the 'main article' link directly above for details.
Potohari has a rich tradition of poetry recital accompanied by sitar, ghara, tabla, harmonium and dholak. These poems (potohari sher) are often highly lyrical and somewhat humorous and secular in nature, though religious sher are also recited.
Notable Sindhi singers
- Allan Faqir
- Ahmed Mughal
- Sarmad Sindhi
- Bhagat Kanwar Ram
- Runa Laila
- Shazia Khushk
- Zarina Baloch
- Shaman Ali Mirali
The predominant language found in Pakistan's Northern Areas has an extensive oral history which dates back several thousand years. With the increase in tourism to Pakistan's Northern Areas and increased domestic as well as international awareness of the local folk music, the Shinha folk traditions have managed to stay alive and vibrant. A dardic language with considerable Persian influence is found in Pakistan's Chitral region in the North West of the country. Khowar folk music had considerable patronage particularly during the rule of the Mehtars in the last century. Folk music in this region has remained relatively pure and unscathed by modern influences due to the relative isolation of this area. The arrival of many refugees from the adjacent Nuristan province of Afghanistan and the subsequent increase in commercial activity in Chitrali bazaars allowed this local form of music to flourish in the past few decades.
Pashto music is commonly found in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Pakistan's major urban centres such as Karachi, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sialkot and Multan. Music genres include Tappa, Charbeta, Neemkai, Loba, Shaan and Badala.
Music from Hazara Division is sung in Hindko dialect, and is generally performed in either the Mahiyay or Shaer styles.
Pakistani music in the 21st century revitalized itself and has many segments as follows:
Pop music really started in south asian region with the famous playback singer Ahmed Rushdi's song ‘Ko Ko Korina’ in 1966. Composed by Sohail Rana, the song was a blend of 1960s bubblegum pop, rock and roll twist music and Pakistani film music. This genre would later be termed as filmi pop. Paired with Runa Laila, the singer is considered the pioneering father of pop music, mostly hip-hop and disco, in Pakistan.
Following Rushdi's success, Christian bands specialising in jazz started performing at various night clubs and hotel lobbies in Karachi, Hyderabad and Lahore. They would usually sing either famous American jazz hits or cover Rushdi's songs. Rushdi sang playback hits along with Laila until the Bangladesh Liberation War when East Pakistan was declared an independent state. Laila, being a Bengali, decided to leave for the newly independent Bangladesh.
Nazia Hassan, the sister of another pop singer Zohaib Hassan and the member of the pop group Nazia and Zoheb, in 1981, became the first playback singer to release a pop music album. Her first album was "Disco Deewane" and second was "Aap Jaisa Koi". Both the albums broke sales records in Pakistan and India and even topped the charts in the West Indies, Latin America and Russia. Hassan won several awards for her songs, including the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the later and received the Pakistan's highest civilian award, Pride of Performance for her contributions in the music field.
Modern pop singers such as Ali Zafar, Hadiqa Kiani, and Atif Aslam have made international waves as well, winning numerous awards and performing in some of the world's most prestigious arenas. In 2013 Atif Aslam became the first Pakistani pop singer to perform at The O2 Arena London twice and has sung several songs for Hollywood and Bollywood. Aslam is also the youngest recipient of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, one of Pakistan's highest civilian honour, for his work in the music Industry. & was also named in 2012 among top performers of Dubai alongside Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Il Divo, Gotye, Evanescence & Swedish House Mafia.
The rise of rock music in Pakistan began in the 1980s when cassettes first came into Pakistan bringing in a wave of Western Rock Music, particularly groups such as Pink Floyd. Since then the nations music industry has witnessed Groups such as Junoon, Vital Signs, and Noori. The nation has also since then seen the rise of talented and internationally renowned musicians such as Faraz Anwar.
Hip hop music
Notable film music composers
- Ghulam Ahmed Chishti
- Rasheed Attre
- Khwaja Khurshid Anwar
- Ghulam Haider
- Master Inayat Hussain
- Safdar Hussain
- A. Hameed
- Bakhshi Wazir
- Sohail Rana
- Nisar Bazmi
- Master Abdullah
- Robin Ghosh
- Ustad Tafu
- Wajid Nashad
- M Ashraf
- Zulfiqar Ali
- Kamal Ahmed
- Waqar Ali
- Amjad Bobby
Music journalism in Pakistan has grown over the years and most newspapers and TV channels have their own reporters and critics on music of Pakistan.
- Badar uz Zaman – Originally a Classical singer yet worked a lot in the fusion of old music with new one.
- Mekaal Hasan – a member of the Meekal Hasan Band who has produced songs like "Aadat" for Jal The Band, "Sampooran" and "Andohlan" for his own band.
- Rohail Hyatt – a member of Vital Signs who produced all the Vital Signs albums and albums for various artists like Awaz, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Azmat.
- S.T.T. Productionz - One of the leading Rap, Hip hop, Trance, House and Electronic Music production house. S.T.T. is a certified Audio Engineer qualified from Berklee College of Music and background education from Toronto Canada. His music is mostly catered to international artists based in Pakistan and/or abroad.
- Shani Haider – a film composer and musician from a musical family who is known for his musical approach blending jazz and orchestral music.
- Zeeshan Parwez produces artists.
- Emad ur Rahman - a member of Kaya Band who produced and recorded well known artists /solo and in bands in his 'High End Studios' like "Najam Sheraz", "Junoon", Ali Azmat", "Zoheb Hassan", Hadiqa Kiyani, Shafqat Amanat Ali and many more.
- Coke Studio
- Culture of Pakistan
- Filmi pop
- History of Pakistani pop music
- Karachi: The Musical
- List of Pakistani musicians
- List of Pakistani film singers
- List of Pakistani folk singers
- List of Pakistani ghazal singers
- List of Pakistani qawwali singers
- List of Pakistani musical groups
- List of songs about Pakistan
- National Academy of Performing Arts
- Nescafé Basement
- Pakistani hip hop
- Uth Records
- "Ministry of Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage!"., Music and Dances of Pakistan, Musical Instruments of Pakistan, Government of Pakistan,National Heritage Wing website, Retrieved 14 September 2015
- http://www.wisemuslimwomen.org/muslimwomen/bio/abida_parveen/, Profile of music composer and performer Abida Parveen on wisemuslimwomen.org website, Retrieved 21 April 2016
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2016/06/23/amjad-sabri-sufi-singer--obituary/, Qawwal Amjad Sabri's obituary on The Telegraph newspaper, UK, Published 23 June 2016, Retrieved 21 Sep 2016
- "Atif Aslam Rocked the O2!". Retrieved 8 May 2012., Retrieved 14 September 2015
- "Atif Aslam Dhamaka London concert". Retrieved 7 May 2012., Retrieved 14 September 2015
- "Bollywood Showstoppers Press conference". Retrieved 29 April 2013.,Retrieved 14 September 2015
- http://www.cnbcpakistan.com/Musician-Rasheed-Attre%E2%80%99s-death-anniversary-today-news-12359.html, Film music composer Rasheed Attre on cnbcpakistan.com website, Retrieved 21 Sep 2016
- http://www.dawn.com/news/921154/shades-of-glory-sohail-rana, Dawn newspaper article on music composer Sohail Rana, Published 19 April 2009, Retrieved 21 Sep 2016
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Music of Pakistan.|
- (French) Audio clips: Traditional music of Pakistan. Musée d'ethnographie de Genève. Accessed November 25, 2010, Retrieved 14 September 2015
- BBC Radio 3 Audio (45 minutes): The Nizamuddin shrine in Delhi. Accessed November 25, 2010, Retrieved 14 September 2015
- BBC Radio 3 Audio (45 minutes): A mahfil Sufi gathering in Karachi. Accessed November 25, 2010, Retrieved 14 September 2015
- BBC Radio 3 Audio (60 minutes): Music from the Sufi Shrines of Pakistan. Accessed November 25, 2010, Retrieved 14 September 2015