Classical music needs more respect! by Owais Munir


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Classical Music Needs More Respect

Every nation in the world has its own culture. What is our culture of Pakistan? What is our art? What is our music? What is our architecture? Though, we are very lucky to have artists like Gulji and Sadequain. But What about our music? Do we give the world our own version of pop music back to them as our culture? What about the 1000 year old traditions of Muslim Sufi Music and the works of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, Hazrat Amir Khusro, Ada Rang-Sada Rang and Sultan Hussain Sharqi (who is also the inventor of the raag Jaunpuri) of Jaunpur?

Why are we so ashamed to admit that these are our traditions and this is our original base of our music? Indians call it their music and are praised and respected for that. Why not us? Why not the real people behind this stuff? Why have we been shunning and condemning these Classical Musicians who have been dedicating their whole life to the great cause of keeping this ancient music alive in a country full of persecution.

Everyone wants to be a pop singer here, and shoot to fame over night. But nobody wants to dedicate some time to learn and appreciate classical music. The fault does not lie with our new generation. It lies with our norms and our education system. Music is thought of as a distraction from the main course. In my opinion it should be made compulsory, at school level, so that every child knows how to play upon either and instrument or sing. So when they graduate they know music and can choose to either have a career in music or choose a different one. At least what this would do is inculcate appreciation of good music and some knowledge of our musical traditions.

Classical musicians Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shafqat Amanat Ali KhanWe cannot deny that classical music is used very widely in our modern music. From people like Sajjad Ali and Abida Perween to singers like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, everybody uses the basics of this genre to create absolutely fabulous pieces of music. They “use” classical music but never mention that this piece is composed in such and such raag. It is always that “I have composed this piece”. It is never “I have composed this piece in raag such and such and that my knowledge of classical music has helped me”. So if we use this genre so much why not give it a little credit? We hate it and then use it as well. I cannot understand this sort of hypocrisy.

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