Qawwali - a kind of Sufi devotional #music | #Asia

Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia, particularly in areas with a historically strong Muslim presence, such as southern Pakistan, and parts of Northern India.

The style is rare, though not entirely absent, in North and West Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Kashmir. It's a vibrant musical tradition that stretches back more than 700 years. Often listeners, and even artists themselves, are transported to a state of “Wajad”- a trance-like state where they feel at one with Allah - generally considered to be the height of spiritual ecstasy in Sufism, and the ultimate goal of the practice.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan grew up in central Lyallpur. Khan began by learning to play tabla alongside his father before progressing to learn Raag Vidya and Bolbandish. He then went on to learn to sing within the classical framework of khayal. Khan's training with his father was cut short when his father died in 1964, leaving Khan's paternal uncles, Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan and Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, to complete his training. His first performance was at a traditional graveside ceremony for his father, known as “chehlum”, which took place forty days after his father's death. After his father’s death Ali Khan, became the official leader of the family Qawwali party and the party became known as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan & Party.

Khan's first public performance as the leader of the Qawwali party was at a studio recording broadcast as part of an annual music festival organized by Radio Pakistan, known as Jashn-e-Baharan. Khan sang mainly in Urdu and Punjabi and occasionally in Real World label later released five albums of Nusrat's traditional Qawwali, together with some of his experimental work, which included the albums “Mustt Mustt” and “Star Rise”. His album “Intoxicated Spirit” was nominated for a Grammy award in 1997 for best traditional folk album. Khan contributed songs to, and performed in, several Pakistani films. Shortly before his death, he recorded a song each for two Bollywood films, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya (in which he also appeared) and Kachche Dhaage. He also sang the title song of the film, Dhadkan. Other famous Qawwali singers include Pakistan's Sabri Brothers. Although famous throughout the world, its hub remains the Punjab province of Pakistan from where it gained entry into the mainstream commercial music industry and international fame.
Undoubtedly Qawwali music received international exposure and recognition through the work of the late Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, one of the great voices of Qawwali and world music.