Classical Music of Pakistan
Classical music of Pakistan is based on the traditional music of South Asia which was patronized by various empires that ruled the region and gave birth to several genres of classic music including the Klasik and Hindustani classical music. The classical music of Pakistan has two main principles, ‘sur’ (musical note) and ‘lai’ (rhythm). The systematic organization of musical notes into a scale is known as a raag. The arrangement of rhythm (lai) in a cycle is known as taal. Improvisation plays a major role during a performance.
The major genres of classical music in Pakistan are dhrupad and khayal. Dhrupad is approaching extinction in Pakistan despite vocalists like Ustad Badar uz Zaman, Ustad Hafeez Khan and Ustad Afzal Khan have managed to keep this art form alive. Khayal is the most popular genre of classical music in Pakistan as is also enjoyed with much enthusiasm in Afghanistan.
There are many families from gharanas of classical music who inherited the music from their forefathers and are still performing. Some famous gharanas are: Qwaal Bacha gharana (Ut Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Rahat Fateh Ali khan belongs to this gharana), and Patyala gharana (Shafaqat Amanat Ali Khan belongs to this gharana). Number of other gharanas are present in Pakistan who serves classical music. Some classical musicians like Ut Badar uz Zaman do not belong to any famous gharana but has served enormously to classical music. The legendary sitar player Mohammad Sharif Khan Poonchhwaley belongs to Poonch gharana of sitar.
Tari Khan is a classical tabla player from Pakistan. Talib Hussain was one of the last remaining pakhawaj players of Pakistan and was a recognized practitioner of the Punjab style.