Written By:Sara Raza Khan
Pakistan’s music is rich and famous for its class, depth and impact. It is distinct and its identity is message of love, harmony and culture expressed through instruments like Sitar, Violin, Tabla, Bansuri, Rubab etc. Pakistani musical gharanaes and other artists have been successful in the past to create deep impact on regional music, too. Even today, Pakistani artist are producing such melodious music that it transcends the borders to reach the world. Pakistani music presents a soft image of Pakistan – the real Pakistan which is the land of love, beauty, peace and harmony!
Pakistan is truly an unmatched blessing with alluring seasons, breathtaking locations, numbers of cities having great historical importance, exceptionally rich culture and what not! Pakistan has it all – an enchanting melody, a mixture of haunting cords with beautifully dominating vocals that collectively make a promising artifact ‘music’. Among all other blessings and things of ornamentation: pearls, gold, diamonds; music is yet another blissful gift. Music is an international language which creates a huge impact without even using words; lyrics are an additional beauty. If a soulful voice is added to good lyrics, an instant hit of all times is created. Sufi saints often used this medium to spread their magical words all over the world. In short, divine lyrics, heart touching melody, and a passionate vocalist makes its way deep down in the hearts of music fans. It’s a strange way to reach hearts and the same happened in my case. I don’t really know when my songs and performances for international competitions touched the hearts of millions. Pakistan’s music is rich and famous for its class, depth and impact. It is distinct and its identity is message of love, harmony and culture expressed through instruments like Sitar, Violin, Tabla, Bansuri, Rubab etc. Pakistani musical gharanaes and other artists have been successful in the past to create deep impact on regional music, too. Even today, Pakistani artist are producing such melodious music that it transcends the borders to reach the world. Pakistani music presents a soft image of Pakistan – the real Pakistan which is the land of love, beauty, peace and harmony!
In the same context, let’s talk about why in today’s world my culturally enriched country and its artists are not working the way they used to in the past. Musicians are not getting the fame as before when we had prodigious musical legends like Madam Noor Jehan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Aziz Mian, Sabri Brothers, Malika Pukhraj, Nayyara Noor, Zubaida Khanum, Reshma and so many others. The question is why did it come to a stop? Also we had so many reasons and festivals to celebrate with music. There used to be concerts for all age groups, classical mehfils, qawali nights in every city, overcrowded stadiums, and spring carnivals with oscillation of happiness everywhere. What got in the way of our happiness and celebrations? Are we scared of terrorism? Actually, we have won this war. A brave nation like ours can never surrender and let the enemies succeed in their mission. Moreover, I feel we have forgotten to find happiness and contentment within the circle of our family and friends. We are all so busy picking out flaws, weaknesses, imperfections of every single department and person that we have stopped thinking about how as an individual we can contribute to make our beautiful country exceptionally affluent in all aspects of life again.
In order to rediscover the wealth of music, we can take steps such as arranging music weeks on a smaller level as students of different genres depending on our choices from rock, pop, retro to ghazal or sufi etc. Also in our residential areas or housing schemes, we can arrange small competitions or occasional get-togethers to create more harmony. On a bigger scale, all Art Councils in every province should arrange music festivals, whether big or small, by engaging our local singers and musicians so that they may continue to learn the dying arts.
But one thing is extremely important that in all these musical events we should only invite genuine musicians and singers. We should not expect birds to swim and fishes to fly because that way we won’t be able to get quality and more legends like Madam Noor Jehan and others listed above. To prevent this and make it easier, we should at least have one national level board/organisation for music auditions where everyone can appear for an audition to become a musician. There’s no way any unskilled musician can represent us globally without being selected from the board. The same platform could provide an opportunity to the talented musicians so that they can showcase their talent. After getting selected from this organization, they should get training and the relevant department can then sponsor their audio albums and chain of concerts where their fans can enjoy “Pakistan-made musical stars”. This can thus help in presenting a softer positive image of Pakistan to the world.
The writer is a famous Pakistani singer who has won a national and international music/singing awards.