is wrong to assume that the lone singer, squatting on the floor and entertaining an audience with Ghazals and Geets has been overshadowed by the glamorously dressed pop singers, who strut upon the stage. The Ghazal Gayaki, enriched, beyond compare, by the peerless Mehdi Hasan, has now become enshrined as Pakistani music. It has its adherents everywhere. It cannot be cast aside; the tradition must be carried forward.
may be born with a spark, but the sparkle you require to excel in your work can only be achieved by learning your craft. Not everyone strumming a guitar can become a pop star. The shelf-life of many of our pop stars is short because they are not equipped with the grounding needed to sustain their musical career. At NAPA students who wish to take up ‘pop’ music have the benefit of occasionally being coached by some of the most experienced ‘pop’ stars.
is foolish and myopic to condemn ‘pop’ music as an insidious Western plot to corrupt our youth. Some of the best ‘pop’ numbers our musicians have created are a delightful blend of traditional and folk melodies set to electronic instruments, which have now become a part of our musical ensemble. We cannot discard them any more than we can discard pizza or burger from our diet.
to the development of other areas in the various disciplines of our classical music, orchestration, as we know it, is a latecomer. In Pakistan it was, primarily, film music, which necessitated the use of orchestra and large ensembles. To begin with, only the violin and the piano were included as necessary accompanying instruments, followed by the clarinet and some brass instruments. The idea was to provide “richness” to the otherwise plaintive background score. The practice that emerged was that traditional instruments, supported by violins, accompanied the tragic songs and brass and cymbals backed light-hearted or hortative numbers.
, in the West, has now become a most sophisticated and intricate art. It is also a highly individual art, depending greatly on the taste and the prejudice of the conductor or orchestrator. Students who wish to study orchestration need to acquaint themselves with the technique of writing for each instrument.
NAPA, special emphasis is put on the orchestral instruments commonly used in Pakistan. However, students are also introduced to some of the other instruments used today in a modern symphony orchestra.