When we say music, most of the people think at the great musicians from the eastern world. But what about the western music, I say? What about the Indian or the Pakistani music? I have noticed that only few people know some general information on Pakistani music. Well, this article is meant to change all that.
A genius man once said “Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves – which is the same thing nowadays”. The Pakistan people, I must say have been very fortunate to have so many big names of music. If you know something about it, I bet you know about Noor Jehan who charmed generations with her beautiful music. This woman had an extraordinary voice that could touch even the most evils souls. It was simply a gift from God. “These sons are not an ordinary entity sold in the market” is the translation of “aye putar hatan tay naiin wikday” the patriotic song broadcasted on every radio station after the 1965 war. Back then, in her glorious days, she was considered to be the icon of the Pakistani music
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was another voice people couldn’t get enough. This is also one of the most popular Pakistani Music celebrities. He sand so beautiful than even those that didn’t understand Pakistani at all listened to it. Some even consider him the main reason the Pakistani music survived. One sure fact is that, he is the reason Pakistani music made it to the open. He was the first to reach the international market and made Pakistani music popular in the world. Even now, years after his dead the Pakistani people talk about his music and his mysterious character.
After him, other Pakistani music idols came. The pop era followed, and celebrities like Junaid Jamshed and Ali Azmat (a rock star) had a great success. With them Pakistani music evolved a lot, and once with them so the Pakistani people. They now can understand the eastern music culture and borrow some from it. Nowadays, Pakistani music is even available on the internet; more and more websites based on this appear each day.
Now, we can categorize the Pakistani music into six types:
Classical – it is a disappearing form, but still influences many of the present artists
Semi classical/Ghazal – this is a form of music in which a poem is sung
Folk – there are four provinces in Pakistan, each with its own characteristics
Qawwali/devotional – this dynamic genre became internationally popular by artists like Sabri Brothers, Aziz Mian and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Film music – Tarranum Madame Noor Jehan is the most popular film music artist. She sang songs of all genres for the Pakistani television.
Pop music – the privatization of Pakistani television made this genre so popular. Nowadays many television broadcast pop music. More, a Pakistani popular single, Najane Kyun recently featured on the Urdu Soundtrack for Spiderman 2.
Music journalism has grown in popularity in Pakistan over the years. This trend was unknown in the Pakistani music twenty years ago. But all that changed once with the reviews written by Farrukh Moriani ( the Pakistani first music critic) which appeared in the Karachi’s tabloid, The Star. At the end of the 80’s and with the coming of the Liberal government of Benazir Bhutto in 1988, the once repressed and frowned upon Pakistani pop music, evolved from the underground and started gaining mainstream popularity.
Back then another Pakistani music and fashion critic grew in popularity. Fifi Haroon was among the first Pakistan’s music critic to undertake full features on the growing local music scene. But this was not so serious. All things changed in 1990, when Pakistani music journalism became serious. Responsible for that was Nadeem F. Paracha.