Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Music of Pakistan
By far the most dynamic and popular music of Pakistan is qawwali, which has been internationally popularized by stars like Nusrat 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 Hindustani 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 Persian and an ancient form of Hindi called braj bhasha , as well as Punjabi, Urdu and Arabic.
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, 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.
Main article: Pakistani music journalism
Pakistani music journalism has been developing rapidly ever since the late 1980s. At the moment more and more young people are getting involved in the profession. A profession that was first made famous by Nadeem F. Paracha in Pakistan. An iconocalastic, eccentric gonzo style journalist who got fame for trying to give the country’s growing pop culture a sense of history and socio-political purpose; and infamy for his wild, satirical, controversial and biting columns targeted against “corporate imperialism”, the “COLAnization of middle-class Pakistan” and the orthodox mullah lobby.In the late ‘90s however, dejected (and rejecting) the country’s electronic and print media as being “a culmination of cynical sell-outs, pompous catwalk intellectuals” and “glorifiers of mediocrity”, he quit writing and became a deluded recluse.
But this hasn't stopped many young urban Pakistanis to enter the field first defined by their main influence who is also known as "NFP."
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