Pakistani music is as diverse as its multiethnic population. Music lover have a wide range of genres to choose from. While qawwali, ghazals, classical and folk music have always been a part of Pakistani culture, it is Pakistani pop and, especially, rock music that has won much admirers in past few decades, intermingling indigenous music with contemporary Western genres to create a new style of its own. The music includes diverse elements ranging from music from various parts of South Asia as well as Central Asian, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, and modern day Western popular music influences.
Ghazal, a form of poetry that consists of rhyme and refrain, is set to music and sung as an expression of love and beauty. This form of music finds its roots in Persia, but it was not until it came to South Asia that it took on its present form.
The Sufi devotional music form of Qawwali is around 700 years old. The Sufi saints of the Chisti order are legendary for their use of music in preaching the teaching of Islam. It was perhaps Hazrat Amir Khusau (1254-1324) who developed and influenced Qawwali music the most (He is often, mistakenly, thought of as the founder of Qawwali –the tradition and style pre-dates him).This tradition of Qawwali music, after centuries of ups and downs, has always found willing admirers in Pakistan. Voices of Aziz Mian, Nushrat Fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen have grasped the heart of millions of Qawwali listeners in Pakistan, India, and the rest of the world.
To listen to the Music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan please click here:
To read more about folk music in Pakistan please click here:
In the recent decades, pop and rock music has become an integral part of the Pakistani culture. Bands like Vital Signs, Junoon, Jal, Noori, Fuzon, and String to name a few have become cultural as well as political symbols. Pop music stars like Nazia Hassan, Atif Aslam, Adnan Sami, to name just a few are very popular and well known in Pakistan.
To watch Nazia Hassan perform her ever classic Disco Deewane please click here.
To read more about the musical history of Pakistan please click here.
Coutney, D. (n.d.). Islamic Devotional Music. Retrieved July 13, 2013, from http://chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/kawali.html
Rolling Stone. (1997, August 18). Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Dead at 48. Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.rollingstone.com/: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/nusrat-fateh-ali-khan-dead-at-48-19970818