Salient Features of Pakistani Punjabi Music

Punjab is the largest province of Pakistan in terms of population. That is why Punjabi language and culture dominate country’s cultural portrait. However, after the independence, Pakistan needed things to unite the various ethnic and cultural groups into becoming one nation. Hence the state promoted the use of Urdu to represent a shared national culture of Pakistan.

People of Punjab adapted Urdu and with the integration of Urdu and Punjabi, Northern Indian migrant’s culture and the culture of people of Punjab, a very beautiful new cultural landscape was born. A part of this cultural landscape is Pakistani Punjabi Music.

Today Pakistani Punjabi songs come in a variety of flavors. There are the traditional Punjabi Bhangra songs, but then there are also Pakistani Punjabi movie songs, Pakistani Punjabi pop, Pakistani Punjabi Rock and Pakistani Punjabi Sufi Songs.

Similar experiments were done in India; however Indian Punjabi songs are limited to the Indian Punjabi speaking regions. Until or unless they are part of some major Hindi movie, they usually don’t get that much popularity on national level.

There are some basic characteristics of Pakistani Punjabi songs that make them different from Indian Punjabi music and the Punjabi Rap and Rock from the UK. Pakistani Punjabi songs rely a lot more on the poetry than music. The poetic influence of the Urdu language can be seen and observed on Pakistani Punjabi songs easily. The traditional pattern of Urdu Poetry is used to write the lyrics of songs, but the cultural elements of Punjab are also present and cannot be ignored easily.

Another characteristic of Pakistani Punjabi songs is that the voice of the singer is more prominent than the sound of musical instruments. Madam Noor Jahan, one of the most prominent female singers of South Asia, was the first to introduce this trend where the melody of flute and the vocal lead take over the music. Later on, the modern Pakistani Punjabi Songs follow the traditional folk styles of Punjabi music and dhool has regained the prominence once again even in the Punjabi Rock and Punjabi Pop songs.

Since the culture of Punjab is shared between India, Pakistan and now you can say that UK’s Punjabi community also shares the same cultural background. There is so much that these cultures share and borrow from each other, the music has no boundaries and it does not understand the rivalry between India and Pakistan. It is shared and cherished across the border and the songs of Punjab are enjoyed across the globe by the Punjabi and non-Punjabi South Asians.


Pakistan’s Music Variety

Pakistani music features many diverse elements that include elements from other parts of South Asia in addition to Central Asian folk music, Persian music, Turkish music, Arabic music and even some recent influence from American music. With so many influences, Pakistani music has become a fusion of many sounds that results in a distinct Pakistani sound.

When it comes to Hindi songs you typically think of snake charmers with simple musical instruments that play simple musical tones. However, Pakistani music is drastically different than this common image. Throughout the past decade, Pakistani music has dramatically changed and is now focused on Pakistani pop songs. Many Pakistani singers have been seen in the movies singing Bollywood songs.

Pakistan has some of the biggest names in music today. Back during the sixties Noor Jehan was considered one of the biggest icons in Pakistani music. Then there was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan who was considered to be responsible for the survival of Pakistani music. He is responsible for bringing Pakistani music to the attention of the world. He was the first Pakistani singer to reach an international market and made Pakistani music popular throughout the world. Even today people throughout the world continue to discuss his music.

As Pakistani pop songs became popular more icons came. Two pop era singers that gained popularity include Junaid Jamshed and Ali Azmat. As these two singers entered the Pakistani music scene the style of music evolved greatly. Today, mp3 songs have made it possible to get Pakistani music from the internet. This has helped to spread Pakistani music throughout the world more than ever before.

Today Pakistani music has six distinct types. The first is classical Pakistani songs. This form of music has almost disappeared but still influences some of the modern singers. Then there is semi classical or ghazals. Ghazals are a form of music in which a poem is sung. Ghazals are a very beautiful form of music that you can’t experience in English songs. Third is folk music, each of the four provinces in Pakistan has their own unique music sound. A fourth, dynamic music genre is the qawwali/devotional which has been made popular by artists such as the Sabri Brothers, Aziz Mian and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Fifth are Bollywood songs or film music. This is music that you typically see in films or on television. Lastly are Pakistani pop songs which became popular along with the privatization of Pakistani television.

Pakistani pop songs have exploded onto the world scene in recent years and have become much more popular than English songs in some movies. One example of Bollywood songs making it into the western film audience is the song by Najane Kyun which was the featured single on the soundtrack for Spiderman 2. This album made Indian pop songs successful throughout the world and won three awards. It is artists and music like this that is bringing Indian pop songs to the attention of people throughout the world who never used to focus on Pakistani music before.

Many mp3 songs now focus on a Pakistani influence. Three popular international singers today from Pakistan include Ali Azmat, Josh and Natasha. In some countries these singers are even doing better than English songs and Hindi songs. And it’s no wonder since Pakistani music is drastically different from Hindi songs. This is why Pakistani music is the most popular form of Indian pop songs today. When you choose to order your next mp3 songs be sure to check out at least one Pakistani song, you will be quite impressed.

In the 21st century, Pakistani pop music is continuing to increase in popularity, more than other genre singers. The music industry in Pakistan is still dominated by Pakistani pop music and this popularity is spilling over into India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh as well as countries in South Asia and Central Asia. The growth of Pakistani pop music has also been helped by Pakistani Britons and Pakistani Americans who are spreading their culture

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