People in Pakistan love music. They consider it “the food for soul”. Pakistanis have a song for every occasion be it joy or sorrow, trial or triumph every mood is musically expressed.
In the early days of its birth, classical music was at its zenith and even the composition of film songs was heavily influenced by classical music. Roshan Ara Begum, Noor Jehan and M. Kaleem were some noted singers.
Ghazals and geets are genres of music popular in Pakistan. The composition is semi classical. However training in classical music was a must for all singers. Iqbal Bano, Farida Khanum, Mehdi Hasan, Ustad Amanat Ali and Habib Wali Mohammed were popular ghazal singers.
Qawalli is devotional sufi music. It is performed by a group of singers singing after the lead singer. Although well-known in the sub-continent, Aziz Mian Qawal and Sabri Brothers gave a new life to Qawwali. Their soulful rendition transported listeners in a trance.
Qawwali was modernized by Nusrat Fateh Ali. Abida Parveen is a big name in sufi music. The 1965 war gave birth to Milli Naghmay (national songs). They infuse a spirit of patriotism in listeners.
Music of Pakistan is incomplete without mentioning the folk/ regional music. The four provinces of Pakistan have a sound of their own as well as some musical instruments. The theme of the folk songs is usually the simple rustic life. Alan Fakir, Alam Lohar, Zarina Baloch, Pathanay Khan are some famous singers.
Pakistanis had their first taste of Pop music when Ahmed Rushdi sang ‘Ko Ko Korina’ in 1960s. 80s was an era of pop music. Nazia Hasan, Alamgir, Mohammed Ali Shehki were some pop sensations. Western influence in Pakistani music was noticeable.
The music after the 80s was a beautiful fusion of east and west. Music thrived more in the form of bands like Vital Signs, Junoon, Awaz and Strings. Junoon introduced “Sufi Rock” the world over. To date Pakistani musicians are experimenting and producing beautiful melodies.