Saturday, July 10, 2010

Popular Vocal Music

GHAZAL (GAZAL) - URDU POETIC SONGS


Introduction
The ghazal is a common form in Indian and Pakistan. Strictly speaking, it is not a musical form at all but a poetic recitation. However, today it is commonly conceived of as an Urdu song whose prime importance is given to the lyrics.

History of the Ghazal
It is said that we must turn to Arabia to find the origins of the ghazal. The word ghazal is an Arabic word that literally means a "discourse" or more correctly a "talk to women". There was an Arabic form of poetry called qasida which came to Iran in about the 10th century. It dealt with the themes of the greatness of kings.

The qasida was at times unmanageably long. It was often 100 couplets or more. Therefore, a portion of the qasida, known as the tashib was detached and this became the ghazal. The ghazal soon became the most popular form of poetry in Iran.

Ghazal's introduction into India from the 12th century, was part of an ongoing revolution in North Indian society. India considered herself to be culturally inferior to greater Persia. Thus Persian culture became a great inspiration for India. The ghazal, along with many other cultural desiderata, were imported into India from the 12th to the 18th centuries. These forms were given a local colour by many Indian artists such as Amir Khusru, and continued to enjoy widespread popularity among Indian Muslims for many centuries.

Although the ghazal was introduced first in the north, the south is responsible for its Urdu character. The North Indian principalities were very much oriented toward Persian, but it was in the south that Urdu was beginning to be used for literary purposes. It was in the courts of Golkonda, and Bijapur that this revolution occurred. Such leaders as, Nusrati, Wajhi, Hashmi, Mohammad Quli Qutab Shah, and Wali are notable in their patronage and contributions. Northern India began to embrace Urdu as a poetic language only in about the 19th century.

The process of converting this poetic form into a musical form was a slow one. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the ghazal became associated the courtesan. The courtesans, known as tawaif, were considered the mavens of art, literature, dance, music, etiquette, and in short, all of the high culture. They were widely acclaimed for their musical abilities and did not hesitate to demonstrate these abilities when they performed the ghazal.

The decline in the feudal society at the end of the 19th and early 20th century brought with it a decline in the tawaif tradition. This change in culture also saw a change in the performance of ghazal. It continued to build upon its musical component, and began to be heard more and more in the concert hall.

The job of converting ghazal to a musical form was finished in the 20th century. The development of the recording and film industries created a mass media that was well suited to the musical ghazal. They also created an environment where it was convenient to treat the ghazal as though it were a mere git. All of this had tremendous economic advantages for performers and producers alike. Unfortunately, it also created economic pressures to lower the standards for the lyrical content.

Structure of the Ghazal
The poetic structure of the ghazal is precise. It is based upon a series of couplets which are woven together by a precise rhyming structure. The overall form uses an introductory couplet, the body of couplets, and then an concluding couplet. We will look at these in greater detail.

The first couplet is always the most important, this is known as the matla. The matla is important because it establishes the overall form and mood of the entire ghazal. Occasionally there are two matlas, in which case the second one is referred to as the matla-e-sani.

Each subsequent couplet is linked to the matla in a well defined fashion. The second verse of each couplet must rhyme with this. Therefore, if the rhyming structure of the matla is AA, then the subsequent couplets have the form BA, CA, DA, etc.

There is a convention in the ghazal known as the radif. This is a characteristic way that a portion of the first line (usually just two or three words) is maintained throughout the ghazal. However, it is not always executed consistently. For instance if there is no radif, the form is said to be ghair-muraddaf, this form is very rare. If the exact same words are used in the radif, then it is said to be ham-radif.

The last couplet of the ghazal is very important, this is called the maqta. It usually contains the pen name (takhallus) of the poet. The maqta is usually a personal statement which may be very different in tone from the rest of the ghazal. Today it is becoming more common to leave off the maqta.

There are a few common themes in the ghazal. Typically they revolve around unrequited love, madness, mystical ruminations, and even social commentaries ridiculing religious orthodoxy. Certainly the most common is unrequited love. However, within each ghazal the theme of each couplet need not be consistent. Each couplet may be thought of as a thematic vignette that need not relate to it adjacent couplets.

Although the themes of each couplet in a ghazal are usually distinct, there are some occasions where there is consistency. The Nazm is an example of a style that exhibits remarkable consistency in its thematic approach. A more common type of thematic connection is known as qita. Still, the norm is for each couplet to stand alone thematically.

Musical Form
The musical form of the ghazal is variable. The older more traditional ghazals were very similar to other Hindustani light classical forms such as the dadra or, thumri. One often finds forms that are similar to qawwali. They are typically in a variety of light classical rags. However today, the ghazal usually has a form which is not too dissimilar to many film songs. Such forms are usually decried by the purists because they usually display a bastardisation of the lyrics and a careless disregard of the forms.

The rhythmic forms (tal) of the modern ghazal are invariably of the lighter forms. One typically finds rupak (7 beats), dadra (6 beats) and kaherava 8 beats being used to the near exclusion of everything else.

Conclusion
The story of the ghazal is an interesting one. It is a story that begins in Arabia and continues over to Persia and on to India. It involves an evolution from a long involved Persian poetic discourse into modern Urdu poetry. It shows how a form of poetry may be converted into a form of song. This is an extreme evolution, but one which occupies an important position in Indian music.



Musical Instruments Used In Ghazal
Harmonium
Santur
Sarangi
Sitar
Tabla
Rabab (Kabuli Rabab)


Other Indian Vocal Forms
Bhajan
Dadra
Dhammar
Dhrupad
Film Music
Folk Music
Geet
Qawwali
Kheyal
Kirtan / Dhun
Lakshangit
Shabad
Tappa
Tarana
Thumri

OVERVIEW OF FILMI SANGEET - THE INDIAN FILM SONG


Filmi sangeet is the music from the Indian film industry. It is a commercial genre comparable to the Western "Top 40". The term "Film Song" is today somewhat of a misnomer because there are many songs of this genre that have never been in any film.

There may be questions concerning the artistic quality of the film song but there is no questioning its popular appeal. It is heard from every loudspeaker in India for every function imaginable. Its biggest appeal is to the youth and lower classes.


Sound stage in Madras
History of the Indian Film Song
The birth of the Indian film song may be traced to the advent of India's first sound motion picture in 1931. This film was entitled "Alam Ara" and heralded in a new era in Indian motion pictures. At the same time, it sewed the seeds for a new musical genre.

In the 30's three major film centres developed. These were based in Bombay (AKA Mumbai), Calcutta, and Madras (AKA Chenai). Of theses centres, Bombay was known for the making of films geared for national distribution, while Madras, and Calcutta were known for their regional films.

The early years of this industry were very fruitful. Between 1931 and 1940 India produced 931 Hindi feature films with an average of 10 songs per films. The numbers for the regional films from Madras and Calcutta, were much lower, but the orientation towards music was similar.

This period is notable for a number of major artists. Music directors such as Pankaj Mullick, Keshavrao Bhole, and Anil Biswas are a few who spring to mind. It is interesting to note that this early period did not favor "playback" singers. Many of the original actors and actresses sang their own songs. Many times, actors were chosen specifically for their singing abilities, Bal Gandharva, and Baburao Pendharkar are two examples.

In the 1940's and 1950's, the business began to shift away from the big motion picture studios to the independent producers. Although this opened the doors to many new musicians and music directors, the influence on whole was not positive. The distribution networks began to rely heavily on the "formulas" (i.e., "X" number of big name actors, "Y" numbers of songs, and "Z" number of dances, etc.). These formula films are known in Hindi as "masaala films". These formulas were determined by commercial and not artistic considerations. From that time on formula music became the norm. The number and variety of the film songs was solidly locked into place. The artistic results of making music by formula rather than inspiration is obvious.

This period is also significant for the introduction of the "playback" singer. Whereas the earlier artists acted and sang, the movies of this period introduced the custom of having actors who did not sing their own songs but instead had other singers do this for them. This is the playback singer.

Many notable playback singers came to prominence during this period. The most notable are, Lata Mangeshkar, Hemant Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Geeta Dutt, and Asha Bhosle. Major music directors are Naushad, C. Ramchandra, S. D. Burman, Shankar - Jaikishan, and Madan Mohan.


Lata Mangeshkar (circa 1990)
The 60's and 70's represented a time of relative stability. It is true that there was an ever increasing standard of recording quality as technical advances were made. It is also true that a few artists would come and go. But for the most part, the playback singers such as Lata, Hemant, Asha and others of the previous decade had locked themselves into such a secure position that there was very little room for others to enter.

However there were a few new music directors to make it big. Kalyanji Anandji, R.D. Burman and Lakshmikant-Pyarelal are a few who would make their way into the business in a big way during this period.


Indian Recording Studio
The Shakeup
The film industry was again shaken in the 80's and 90's. Many new developments would both adversely effect traditional businesses, yet present new opportunities for others.

The television has had a tremendous effect on this genre. In the 1970's the Indian Government began a project to introduce the TV throughout India. Unlike many other countries, the TV (known as "Doordarshan") is owned by the Government. The widespread introduction was originally for "educational purposes" (i.e., propaganda) and was not very inspiring. The original programming was not a commercial threat to the Indian film industry. However during the 80's and 90's, under political and economic pressure, the television began to open up to private productions. Such independent productions proved to be very popular and began to adversely effect cinema attendance. It also gave the music producers an alternative outlet for their musical productions.

Other factors effecting Indian film songs were the problems within the Bombay film world. For many decades, Bombay monopolized the Hindi film industry and therefore controlled the lion's share of India's film music. However, increased cost of production, rising trade unionism and organized extortion rackets working under the ruling Siv Sena Party have decimated this industry. (Although the Siv Sena Party is no longer in power, the effects of racketeering still remain.) Today a large number of Hindi films and film songs are being produced in Madras where conditions are more favorable. This shift has given a major boost to Madras based music directors such as A. R. Rahman and playback singers such as S. P. Balasubrahmanyam.

The introduction of the VCR and the satellite / cable networks has also impacted the film Industry. Unlike the standard TV, the satellite / cable networks are all private sector undertakings. Curiously enough the introduction of the satellite has had the effect of internationalizing both the production and consumption of film style commercial music.

There are other factors that have shaken the industry. Overproduction of cinema houses in the 70's and 80's coupled with ever increasing entertainment taxes have made it difficult for many theatre owners to survive. This has shaken the distribution networks.

The result is that the nature of "filmi sangeet" is not as well defined as it once was. The creation of alternative media along with the decimation of the traditional Indian film industry has produced an interesting business and artistic environment. It appears that film music is in the process of spawning a number of new and related genre. However their definition is not yet clear.

Musical Characteristics
It is impossible to make any statement about the musical aspects of film music. Classical and traditional elements may be found, yet it is more likely to be dominated by Western jazz, rap, disco or whatever styles may be in vogue. It is even common to mix all of the various elements together.

For an excellent treatment of the subject check out "Hindi Filmi Git" by Alison E. Arnold.



Indian Instruments Used in the Films
(note - Western instruments may not be included in this list)
Bansuri
Daf (Duf, Daphu, Daffali)
Dholak
Harmonium
Jal Tarang
Khol (Mridang)
Manjira
Rabab (Kabuli Rabab)
Santur
Sarangi
Sarod
Shehnai
Sitar
Tabla
Tabla Tarang
Tanpura
Violin


Traditional Indian Genre Used In The Films
(note - Western genre may not be included in this list)
Bhajan
Dhun
Folk Music
Kathak Dance
Qawwali
Thumri

BHAJAN - THE HINDU DEVOTIONAL SONG


The bhajan has a special place in Indian society. Most bhajans were written between the 14th through 17th centuries. They are simple songs sung in the praise of God. Complex spiritual truths are portrayed in the simple language of the farmers, merchants, and other common people of the time.

Bhajan is an important part of a Hindu revivalist movement which swept through India during the Mogul period; this movement was known as the Bhakti movement. The crux of this movement was simple; spiritual salvation was attainable to anyone who had a pure and selfless love of God. This salvation was not predicated upon formalised yagnas, pujas, knowledge of Sanskrit, or any of the characteristics of the older forms of Hinduism. This was a spiritual empowerment of the masses.

Bhajan is difficult to describe musically because it is not defined by any musical characteristics; it is defined by a sense of devotion (bhakti). Bhajans cover a broad spectrum of musical styles from the simple musical chant (dhun) to highly developed versions comparable to thumri.

The poetic content of the bhajan also covers a broad spectrum. The more traditional ones by great saint musicians such as Mira, or Kabir are considered to be of the highest literary quality. Many modern ones, although more easily understood by the masses, usually have a literary value no greater than a typical film song (a popular form of music generated for the masses). The lowest poetic form is the dhun, which is actually nothing more than a musical version of a chant.

The structure of bhajan is very conventional. It contains a single sthai and numerous antara. The last antara has special significance because it contains the nom de plume of the author.

There are a number of musician/ saints who are famous for their bhajans. The names Tulsidas, Surdas, Mira Bai, and Kabir are particularly well known.



Streaming Audio Bhajans by Chandra and David
Chando Langar - A Mira bhajan performed in a thumri style.
Tumak Chalat Ram Chandra - A bhajan by Tulsidas on Lord Ram
Tu Dayal - A Tulsidas bhajan
Guru Hamare - A dhun in praise of the spiritual guru.
Gaiye Ganapati - A Tulsidas bhajan in Praise of Lord Ganesh.
Mohe Lage Lagan - A Mira bhajan in praise of the guru.
Omkar Rupini - A bhajan in praise of Shakti.
Om Jaya Jagadish Hare - Famous dhun used in Aratis.
Payoji Maine - A Mira bhajan in praise of lord Ram.
Ram Sumira - A Nanak bhajan in praise of Lord Ram.
Shiva Shankar - Dhun in praise of lord Shiva.
Darashan Dena - This is a famous Mira bhajan.
Sri Ram Chandra - A Tulsidas bhajan in praise of Lord Ram.
Niru Bal Ke Balram - A Hindu bhajan by Surdas
Tu Sumiran Kar Le - A bhajan by Guru Nanak.
Chalo Mana - A Mira bhajan.
Hari Name Sumar Sukha Dham - A Bhrahmananda bhajan


Instruments Used in Bhajan
Kartal
Ektar
Dotar #1
Harmonium
Manjira
Sitar
Dholak
Dholki (Nal)
Tabla
Surpeti / Electronic Tanpura
Tanpura


Other Indian Vocal Forms
Dadra
Dhammar
Dhrupad
Film Music
Folk Music
Gazal
Geet
Kheyal
Kirtan / Dhun
Lakshan Geet
Qawwali
Shabad
Tappa
Tarana
Thumri

GEET (GIT) - THE HINDI SONG


The geet may, or may not be considered a distinct style of song. The word "geet" actually means "song". However, there is a tendency to use the term for many of the lighter styles which do not fit the rigid classification of the more classical forms. The geet need not be based upon a rag. It is usually set to the lighter tals.



COMMON INSTRUMENTS USED IN THE GEET
Tabla
Harmonium
Sarangi
Dholak
Sitar


Other Indian Vocal Forms
Bhajan
Dadra
Dhammar
Dhrupad
Film Music
Folk Music
Gazal
Kheyal
Kirtan / Dhun
Lakshan Geet
Qawwali
Shabad
Tappa
Tarana
Thumri

BHANGRA: MUSIC AND DANCE FROM THE PUNJAB


Bhangra was originally a Punjabi folk dance which has expanded in several ways. As far as dance is concerned, the term bhangra has expanded to include the style of music used to accompany bhangra dance. In terms of its reach, it has expanded beyond rural Punjab to become an internationally recognised style of song and dance.

History
Originally, the bhangra was just a folk dance that was confined to the Punjab during the harvest festival of Baisakhi. This was performed only by men, while the women would perform the giddha. Over the centuries, bhangra grew to encompass not only the giddha but a number of rural Punjabi folk dances. It grew in popularity, and expanded its range to the point where bhangra was then found over much of Northwest India and Pakistan. Furthermore, it could be performed on any festive occasion, and not just during the harvest festival.

The seeds of bhangra's growth as an international artform began not in India, but in Great Britain. The Indo-Pakistan expatriate community was lacking a clear symbol of its own ethnic identity. This community was starting to be comprised of second and third generation South Asians. They could no longer easily relate to a changed India or Pakistan, but were also unable to completely assimilate into traditional British society. They were struggling to have a clear symbol of their own identity. In this cultural vacuum, the bhangra grew to become an important symbol of their self identity.

Bhangra first began to make its mark internationally during the 1970's. At this time, artists such as A.S. Kang and Kuldip Manak began to make a commercial success out of it. It was also in this period that bhangra began to be widely accepted as a genre of music rather than simply a dance form. In the next few decades bhangra grew into a truly international phenomenon. It is to be found wherever there is a large expatriate Indian community.

We have seen bhangra expand further until now it is almost a subculture. Implicit in the bhangra are not just the music and dance, but also a lifestyle. At first, this might be hard to conceive, but it certainly is not a unique occurrence. Perhaps the most well known example of this sort of thing was the disco movement in the late 70s; disco too encompassed music, dance, as well as a whole lifestyle.

Sub-Genres of Bhangra Dance
Bhangra is not a single dance but is actually composed of several sub-genera. Generally these are daankara, dhamal, gatka, giddha, jhumar, julli, kikli, luddi, and the saami. A brief description follows:

Daankara - The term "daankara", is derived from the word "daan", which means "stick". As the name implies, this dance is performed with sticks. This dance tends to be done at weddings. It has a certain similarity to the dandiya raas of Gujarat.

Dhamal - The dhamal is a particularly energetic form of folk dance. This dance is done by the participants forming a circle. In this the dancers hold their hands in the air as they dance about, there are many interjections and much shouting.

Gatka - The gatka is dance that is performed with swords, daggers, or sticks. It is said that this dance was started after the martyrdom of the fifth Guru Arjun Dev.

Giddha - This is primarily a women's dance.

Jhumar - The term "jhumar", means to "swing". The jhumar is a men's dance that is performed at weddings and other festive events. It developed in the Sandalbar, and Balochistan area of Pakistan. It is characterised by a particular rhythm which is substantially slower than that which is normally used in bhangra.

Julli - Where most of the forms of bhangra are done by groups of people, julli may be done by a single person. It has its origins in the dance of the Muslim holy men and may be done from a sitting posture.

Kikli - The kikli is generally performed by women. For this, women lock there hands and swing about in circles. These are usually pairs of girls, but on occasion four girls may perform this move.

Luddi - The luddi is a dance that contains a vary characteristic posture of the bhangra. In this, the dancer has one hand behind their head and the other hand outstretched.

Saami - This is usually considered a women's dance.

The Music of Bhangra
Today, bhangra is not just a dance but is also a musical style. As this music has become internationalised, it has undergone quite an evolution. Where it was once a purely folk music of Punjab, today elements of rap, hip-hop, and other commercial Western forms may be found enfolded within it.

Melodically the bhangra uses an extremely small number of notes. The range seldom extends an octave. Still, even with the limited number of notes used, the bhangra may be extremely expressive, due in great part to the lyrical nature of the songs.

The rhythms of bhangra tend to be very lively. They are usually based upon a very fast kaherava tal of eight beats. However this eight beat pattern is almost never performed straight, but usually incorporates a strong syncopation (i.e,. a heavy "swing"). The jhumar tends to be much slower, and at times utilises a half cycle version of punjabi theka (i.,e based upon eight beats rather than 16). At other times, the jhumar may be based upon a hemeola in a manner somewhat similar to the Gujarati raas music.



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS USED IN BHANGRA
Ektar (tumbi)
Sarangi
Chimpta
Dhol
Daf (Duf, Daphu, Daffali)
Dholak
Dhad

Kirtan Or Dhun - Hindu Musical Chants


The Kirtan or Dhun is related to the bhajan. The major difference is that bhajan is usually performed by a soloist, while kirtan and dhun usually involve the audience in a "call-and-responce". The musical quality is consequently much simpler to accommodate the uncertain musical abilities of the participants. The term Kirtan is used by Hindus and Sikhs, while the term Dhun seems to be used only by Hindus, especially Gujuratis.



INSTRUMENTS USED IN KIRTAN
Chimpta
Dholak
Harmonium
Kartal
Kasht Tarang
Khol (Mridang)
Manjira
Shankh


Other Indian Vocal Forms
Bhajan
Dadra
Dhammar
Dhrupad
Film Music
Folk Music
Gazal
Geet
Kheyal
Lakshan Geet
Qawwali
Shabad
Tappa
Tarana
Thumri

QAWWALI PAGE


INTRODUCTION
Qawwali is the traditional form of Islamic song found in India and Pakistan. The word qawwali is derived from the Arabic word Qaol which means "axiom" or "dictum". A Qawwal is one who sings qawwali, or the dictums of the prophets and praises of God. The Qawwali is closely linked to the spiritual and artistic life of northern India and Pakistan.

SPIRITUAL ASPECT OF QAWWALI
The qawwali is inextricably linked to the Sufi tradition; Sufism is a mystical school of Islamic thought which strives to attain truth and divine love by direct personal experience. In Arabic, this mysticism is known as tasawwuf. The difference between Sufism and mainstream Islam is simple. All Muslims believe that man is on a path to God (tariqah). However, where the mainstream Muslim believes that it is only possible to reach God after death at the final judgement, the Sufi believes that it is possible to reach God during ones life. To this end there are a number of different techniques and methods.

The Koran instructs man to remember God. This remembrance, known as dhikr, may be either silent of vocal. The qawwali may be viewed as an extension of the vocal form of this remembrance. The use of music as a spiritual force was discussed in great length by al-Gazali (1085-1111).

By the end of the 11th century, there arose the tradition of the sama. The sama was often a spiritual concert, which included a vocalist, and instrumentalists. These samas took place under the direction of a spiritually respected man (shaikh).

There is a very specific psychological process which a qawwali follows. One starts with the singing of the song. In this psychological state the song is received in a manner that is not unlike standard forms of musical expression. The words are sung, quite repeatedly with variations intended to bring out deeper means of the lyrics. After awhile there is a repetition to the extent that the words cease to have a meaning. It is the goal here to lead the listener and performer alike into a trance (hal). In the ideal situation the participant is moved to a state of spiritual enlightenment (fana).

HISTORY OF THE QAWWALI
The origins of qawwali probably predate the birth of Muhammad. The earliest Islamic scholars discussed the spiritual effects of music, but it was only in the time of al-Gazali (1085-1111) that these principles were refined and codified.

These principles were then expanded by the Chisti school of Sufism. It is this order that has been responsible for the propagation of the qawwali in India and Pakistan for then last few centuries. The origin of the Chisti school is unclear. Most believe that it was established by Khwaj Moinuddin Hasan Chisti (1143-1234). However there are a some who hold that the originator was Abu Ishaq Shami Chisti who died in Damascus in 940 C.E.

Khwaj Moinuddin Hasan Chisti was undoubtedly responsible for the widespread propagation of this school of Sufism. It is said that he was born in Sijistan. At a young age, he was influenced by several saintly men, including Ibrahim Qahandazi, and Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilli. He immigrated to Delhi and became a very respected saint. He later grew tired of the life in Delhi and withdrew to the peace and quite of Ajmer (Rajasthan) where he lived the remainder of his days.

One of the followers of the Chisti school was a man by the name of Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya (1236-1325). He was born in Budaun, but at the age of 20 he moved to Ajodhan and became a disciple of Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shakkar. It is said that it was here that he received the key to inner illumination. He was then sent to Delhi to instruct the populous. Here he acquired a reputation for using music in his devotional gatherings. This created a great amount of friction with the more orthodox Islamic elements in Delhi.

Nizamuddin Auliya was, and still is, a source of inspiration for countless people. Even today there is an annual gathering at his tomb.

One man who was inspired by the Hazrat Nizamuddin was Amir Khusru (1254-1324). He was born in Mominpur (Patiala). His father was originally from Turkey, this gave the young boy a broader exposure to the rest of the Islamic world. His father died when he was eight years old, whereupon the job of raising him fell to his maternal grandfather. Amir Khusru was a legendary musician, statesman and philosopher. It is said that he was the advisor to 11 rulers of Delhi, particularly the rulers of the Khilji Dynasty (Deva 1973:76).

Amir Khusru is so important to the development of qawwali that he is often (erroneously) said to be the inventor of it. It is said that he mixed the various musical elements from Turkey, greater Persia and India together. Even today, we find the curious mixture of Persian moqquams with Indian rags.

The development of the qawwali up to the latter part of the Mogul empire closely parallels the development of the Hindu religious song known as bhajan. We find parallels in musical form and social settings. The degree of cross influence is so great that some musician / saints such as Kabir (circa 1440-1518) are to this day revered by Hindus and Muslims alike.

The tradition of qawwali has had numerous ups and downs. One particularly hard time was during the reign of Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb is known for his Islamic fundamentalism. The liberal traditions of the Sufis were not well received by this emperor. He took the fundamentalist injunction against music very seriously.

Aurangzeb's dislike of music is well illustrated in a common story. It appears that during his administration a group of musicians, disheartened with their lack of patronage, took some musical instruments and wrapped them in the manner of a corpse and held a funeral procession in protest. Aurangzeb enquires about the procession and is told it is a burial to signify the death of music. Whereupon it is said that the emperor declares, "Good! bury it so deep that never a sound should be heard again."

The collapse of the Mogul empire and political fragmentation under the British was both good and bad for the qawwals. On one hand the political disarray meant that a major suppression of their artform was impossible, yet it also meant that their patronage was also uneven.

The rising film industry in the middle of the 20th century was a major vehicle for the rise in popularity of the qawwali. There was a period when a qawwali was a mandatory part of the formula Hindi films.

The film industry influenced the development of the qawwali in several ways. It is interesting to note that since the environment of the cinema house precluded the artist /audience interaction, it set the precedent for the more detached quality that characterises modern performances. The filmi qawwali also set the precedent for the "showy" quality that one finds in modern performances. Another effect of the filmi qawwali was the downgrading of the religious / devotional aspect. A typical example of a filmi qawwali is "Sharam ke Kyun Sab" from the film "Chaudvin ka Chand".

The secularisation of the qawwali is an interesting phenomenon. One can see that the seeds of its secularisation are inherent in the qawwali itself. Themes of qawwali have traditionally revolved around very mundane or even coarse occurrences. However, the coarseness of the situations have always been interpreted as the coarse spiritual existence of our daily lives. The modern secular qawwali tends to strip the themes of their metaphorical and allegorical character thus producing a shallow, yet commercially marketable entity.

Recent years have seen the qawwali thrust into the international arena by such musicians as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. His fusion of traditional Indo-Pakistani influences with Western music has created quite a stir in the music world.

PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS
The performance of a qawwali is typically a group situation. This is different from a classical performance which revolves around one person. Within this group situation, there is one main vocalist or qawwal, and a group of supporting vocalist. The audience too is considered a participant in this event

The musical accompaniment is varied; harmonium, tabla, dholak, sarangi, saringda, and rabab, are common instruments. Furthermore, a simple clapping of the hands is a ubiquitous rhythmic support.

There are several tals in common use in the qawwali. The most common is the fast dadra tal of 6 beats or the fast kaherava of four or eight beats. Unlike the more cerebral, classical forms these tals are played in such a way that they produce a driving hypnotic beat.

Although the qawwali is not a classical form of singing, it does have some common elements. One finds fast taans, meend gamaks and the other forms of ornamentation which are typical of Hindustani performances.

The structure of the qawwali is also similar to the classical forms. It typically starts with the alap. This portion has no rhythm and is intended to create the right environment. One then moves into the main portion of the performance; this is usually in a medium tempo. The pace slowly increases until a state of extreme excitement is produced.

It is very common for audience members, moved by their state of ecstasy to give money to the performers. This is known as vel. The performance continues without stopping.

The most common rags used in qawwalis today are bilawal, khammaj, kafi, and kalyan. However one often finds rags which are more in common with the modal forms of Persia or Afghanistan.

CONCLUSION
The qawwali is a very old form of Islamic devotional song. For centuries it has been inspired and propagated by the Chisti school, of Sufism. Although it is of Indo-Pakistan origin it is today enjoyed all over the world.



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS USED IN QAWWALI
Bulbul Tarang
Dholak
Harmonium
Kartal
Rabab
Santur
Sarangi
Saringda
Tabla


Other Indian Vocal Forms
Bhajan
Dadra
Dhammar
Dhrupad
Film Music
Folk Music
Gazal
Geet
Kheyal
Kirtan / Dhun
Lakshan Geet
Shabad
Tappa
Tarana
Thumri

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