Pakistani Music


Since the music thrived in the human society, it had had a great impact on the daily and social lives of human beings then as the time passed it started to become a very essential part of everyday life of a human being. In the present day we can see that humans don’t even move, run or drive music plugged in their ears. This is the revolutionary or historical effect of music on the ear of human beings. In the history, music has been a part of people’s lives as well. When we look back to the Durbars of Mughals or the tradition of Aryans we find that Pakistan was also a land rich with the fertility of music.

Pakistan before its birth was part of India and Indus civilization. Subcontinent and especially Hindustan was considered as the golden sparrow of the world due to the natural resources that this land possessed and ever since has been a hub for all the invaders. This land was never our own because we are the killers of the civilization of Harappa and Mohenjo Darro. At first came the Aryans then Ghaznavi and then Mughals ruled here for centuries. Each one had had a major impact in the evolution of music throughout this era. The artifacts found by archaeologists such as the statues and clay pots prevailed many drawings and carvings that revealed that each of these civilization had its own unique way of performing music in their lives and it was a part of their everyday life. Hence after partition Pakistan became a hub of unique types of music genres such as the Qawali and Kaafi because it had its roots from the Sufism which was a major influence in the social order of subcontinent. In this article we'll go through different genres of music industry of Pakistan which will let us know that how this it has resided in the Pakistani culture.


The Sindhi kafi is a native musical genre of Sindh. The phrase kafi, is of Arabic foundation, worn in the logic of "final" or "enough" in the term “Allah Kafi”, which defines as, “God Almighty is Supreme”. The pioneers of this specific music genre were Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Bulleh shah. At that time people were not allowed to complain or speak against the immoral behaviours of their rulers and were living a life of oppression so these pioneers sang these devotion genres in order to portray the social and political problems of their era which led them to make people aware of their actions that will eventually lead to their salvation or doom.

Zahida Parveen was a kafi singer of the past millennium then her daughter Shahida Parveen took her place. In the present day her granddaughter, Abida Parveen is here to mark its track on the path of Pakistani music industry as a kafi singer and also other musical genres that Pakistan is famous for.


Qawali is a Sufi tradition of Muslim Sufi scholars which was spread in the subcontinent when Muslim sufis came into subcontinent they saw how music was an essential part of people of subcontinent. These people were already well rehearsed in the Turkish, Persian and Arabic music so they immediately began to study the conventional folk music and this leads them to create qawalli for the subcontinent. In this genre of music they sand praises to the god in the form of music and eventually caused a trance on the audience and they felt close to the god. This was the effect of qawalli on the people of sub continent.

The most considered work which is called as the treatises of Sufi faith is Al-Ghazali's renowned work "Ihya Ul Ulum al-Din" (Revivifying the sciences of faith). This involved a samaa (a group intervention) where people sat and listened to the sermons of musicians in the form of music to receive a spiritual music.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan:

Pervez is an internationally acclaimed musician. Yes, his real name was peeves and he belonged to an order of musicians which was originally named as ‘Qawal Bachoon Ka Gharrana’. He is renowned due to his unique style that he introduced by combining eastern and western musical traditions. He was the first Muslim musician who achieved fame in the international community and also performed his musical efforts in ‘Raag Darbari’ in the ‘last temptation of the Christ’ and achieved French grand prix award for his performance. Nusrat Fateh Ali khan was quite satisfied with the present standard of qawalli in the Pakistani society so he also visited many countries in order to leave marks of his vocal leviathan.

Even in the modern era, he is listened widely and people still consider him to be the best qawalli singer of the Pakistan that was ever born. In the present day his descendant ‘Nusrat Fateh Ali khan holds the throne of the qawalli singing but he is no match to what his predecessor was. ‘Talkhiye e Hayat se ghabra k pee gya’ is considered as the most refined work of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’

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