Musical Heritage of Pakistan

Lok Virsa has started documentation of `Musical Heritage of Pakistan’ in its on-going efforts to document various components of tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the country.
Pakistan can rightly be described as the cradle of music. It not only gave birth to the first musical instruments, but the evolutionary process in the growth of these instruments through various ages that mark the history of the sub-continent, was able to absorb and assimilate the atmospheric influences of the contemporary trends in the field of music around the globe, said Executive Director Lok Virsa, Khalid Javed.
He said, Indo-Pakistani music has survived and thrived for thousands of years while remaining an oral art form with little or no written tradition.
The Musical heritage has created a three-dimensional display named as “Hall of Musical Heritage” at the first ethnological museum ofkistan, known as Heritage Museum located at Shakarparian to depict and portray the history of music in the sub-continent, roots of music, classical folk music and contemporary music as well as contributions of the Muslims towards promotion of musical heritage.
Executive Director Lok Virsa, who is also a renowned cultural expert and folklorist, informed that the hall describes the beginning of tradition of music in the subcontinent.
He apprised that the excavations of the ancient civilization of Moenjodaro flourished from Sindh reveals that a clay ball known as “Borindo” was used as blow instrument, which is still in practice in Sindh province by shepherds.
This instrument can be regarded as the most ancient musical instrument in the sub-continent. Our classical music can be traced from the Indo-Aryan Vedic traditions where Pundits sat in deep meditation contemplating in nature of god and reality, he remarked.
The Pundits expressed this transcendental vision in Sur and Raag.
The Raag expressed human moods, emotions of union and separation or simply joy relating to season nature and various raags are still named after ancient deities.
Another section of the display is dedicated to the contributions of the Muslims towards the musical heritage. Many Muslim rulers and Sufis encouraged music and gave it a place of honor in their courts.
Philosophers like Al-Kindi, Al Farabi, Bu Ali Sina, Ameer Khusro, Saif al Din, and many others researched and wrote extensively on music.
Sufi saints enriched the musical system through innovations in raag and musical instruments and further took the art to the masses evolving many popular forms of music.
It also specifically portrays the valuable contributions rendered by the Muslim scholar Hazrat Ameer Khusro Dehalvi, whose name is common for every Pakistani wherever music is mentioned.
Born more than 700 years ago, the memory of Ameer Khusro remains alive in the heart of every musician.
He was the court poet and musician. Ameer Khusro is credited with the creation of Qawaali by modifying Dhurpad adding Persian melody and beat to it. Qawwali is a musical genre – a devotional assembly of Islamic mysticism or Sufism in the sub-continent.
Ameer Khusro is also credited for inventions of musical instruments like sitar and tabla.
In this display, one can see a research based information about traditional schools of music commonly called “Gharanas” including Dehli Gharana, Kirana Gharana, Agra Gharana, Gwaliar Gharana, Jaipur Gharana, Patiala Gharana and Sham Churasi Gharana.

(The Nation)

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