Hall of Musical Heritage in Pakistan

Instruments‘Hall of Musical Heritage’ inaugurated

By Mahtab Bashir

ISLAMABAD: Lok Virsa Executive Director (ED) Khalid Javaid on Tuesday inaugurated the documentation of ‘Hall of Musical Heritage’ set up at the Heritage Museum to depict the history of classical, folk and contemporary music in the Sub-Continent.

Talking to Daily Times, Javaid said Indo-Pakistani music not only gave birth to the first musical instrument called “Borindo”, but also absorbed the influences of the contemporary trends in this field.

He said the display had been named as Hall of Musical Heritage, which describes the beginning of the tradition of music. The Lok Virsa ED said excavations of the ancient civilisation of Moenjodaro revealed that shepherds used a clay ball known as “Borindo”, which is still in practice in Sindh province. “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. They expressed this transcendental vision in Sur and raga. The Raga expressed human moods, emotions of union and separation or simply joy relating to nature and various ragas are still named after ancient deities,” Khalid Javaid explained.

Talking about another section of the display that is dedicated to the contributions of the Muslims in music, Javaid said many Muslim rulers and Sufis encouraged music. Philosophers like Al-Kindi, Al Farabi, Bu Ali Sina, Ameer Khusro, Saif al Din and many others researched and wrote extensively on music, he said, adding, Pakistani Sufi saints enriched the music through innovations in raga and musical instruments and further took the art to the masses evolving many popular forms of music.

The valuable contributions rendered by Khusro, who was born in more than 700 years ago and is credited with the creation of Qawaali by modifying Dhurpad adding Persian melody and beat to it, is also highlighted in the Hall, the ED said. Javaid said Qawwali was a musical genre – a devotional assembly of Islamic mysticism or Sufism in the Sub-continent. Khusro is also credited for inventions of musical instruments like Sitar and Tabla, the ED said.

Javaid said 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, who were at the peak in the field of music, had also been provided in the Hall.

The hall of musical heritage also presents display of musical instruments such as Tabla, Pakhawaj, Tumbaknari, Dhol, Naqqara, Shehnai, Flute, Alghoza, Borrindo, Narr, Galarh, Majira, Khartaal, Chimta, Chang, Sitar, Vichtarvina, Surmandal and Sarod.

Other panels in the Hall highlight different aspects relating to the traditional music such as music and nature, time for every raga, evolution of Indian and Pakistani music, difference between western and eastern music and music as a therapy, he said.

This article first appeared in The Daily Times, Islamabad, Pakistan on January 20, 2010.

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