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Pakistani Music



When we say music, most of the people think at the great musicians from the western world. But what about the eastern music? What about the Indian Music or the Pakistani music? I have noticed that only few people know some general information on Pakistani music, which consists of diverse  elements ranging from music from various parts of South Asia as well as Central Asian,PersianTurkishArabic and modern day Western popular music influences. With these multiple influences, a distinctive Pakistani sound has been formed.

Pakistani music consists of several forms of genres such as gazaals and qawallis with blended form of modern genres such as rock and hip hop. Using of traditional instruments such as table, dholak, harmonium and rubab are still popular enough with consistent use of modern instruments such as guitars, pianos and drums. Pakistani folks are famous for composing songs in several languages such as Sindhi, Punjabi, Balochi, Saraiki, Potohari, Persian, Pashto and Urdu.


The music industry of Pakistan seems to move on and flourish in spite of the fact that there is mayhem and terror, day in and day out in Pakistan. Some of Pakistani artist have left their mark on the Earth in bold letters such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Noor-Jahan. Every week the stories about the death toll in Pakistan storm the international and the national headlines, but the gutsy, battered and bruised Pakistani musicians seem to blindfold themselves and move on with their job of producing harmonious music that inflames the hope among the people and keeps the spirit to live alive and well fostered. Pakistani musicians have always tried to trigger and arouse the sleeping spirit in the people and songs like Shor Macha have given the much needed boost to stand up for oneself.


Some time back Atif Aslam sang a song “Hath Uthao” for the flood victims and “Ab Khud Kuch Karna Pade Ga” in collaboration with Strings and most recently Hadiqa Kiani, underwent a hair cut for some cancer patients. These acts have clearly exemplified the fact to a large extent that Pakistani musicians want to move forward and help in building towards a classic Pakistani society that will hopefully be full of richness, colour, beauty and plenty of other optimistic expressions.

An Invasion (Influence of Bollywood)

Our youth has become increasingly obsessed with Bollywood and i am mortified to admit that I hear people saying ‘sapna’ and ‘patni’ instead of ‘khawab’ and ‘biwi’. Bollywoods influence on Pakistan is undeniable and their culture is creeping into our society while we are blissfully ignoring it.

Throngs of people stand outside the cinemas that feature Bollywood movies and it pains me when I think of the revenue that we are generating to a cinema that is not our own. The influence of Bollywood is murdering our already crippled movie industry. People will wait in lines if they have to, just so they can watch the first screening of a new Bollywood movie they know nothing about. It does not matter if it attacks our culture and our traditions. If it has an item song with Katrina Kaif in it we won’t be missing it for the world. Right?

A lot of Bollywood movies portray us negatively concerning the Kashmir conflict and our next generation might start believing what they see. The young girl who works at my house knows the name of every Indian actor but started stuttering when I asked her the name of the prime minister of Pakistan. Don’t even get me started on the Grandpas and Grandmas who so dedicatedly watch every soap opera on Star Plus together. What will we learn from these soap operas? How to wear layers of makeup and pounds of jewelry to bed or how to fake a death and then come back craving for vengeance.  How horribly dramatized.

Most menacing of them all are the cartoons dubbed in Hindi that we so willingly allow our kids to watch. If your kid is watching that right now, please turn off the TV. Have some mercy. You’re opening your children to a culture that is entirely different from ours and they’ll grow up speaking Hindi and not Urdu or even English.


Pakistani weddings have lost their charm and have become a mere representation of the Hindu culture. They do not reflect our values and customs anymore.  We have let Bollywood penetrate so deep into our society that change might be unacceptable to the masses now.  They have become accustomed to the Indian culture and if we want to bring a change we will have to revive our own entertainment industry.

We cannot just blame each other for this invasion of culture. We have allowed it and we must accept that. Our own entertainment industry is not doing that good so we watch Bollywood movies to de-stress ourselves and most people find that acceptable. It is acceptable if we don’t let it take control of us and set certain boundaries.

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By: Shamaim Younas (Section G – 11U0040)