Ghazal maestro for revival of ‘true’ classical music
By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE: Renowned ghazal singer Ghulam Ali has regretted the role of arts councils and the Ministry of Culture in promoting classical music in its true sense.
The singer urged the government to hold music and singing workshops from the platform of arts councils and underline the need for a national academy where both vocalists and instrumentalists could be trained.
Deploring that culture overall had been a low priority for successive governments in Pakistan, Ghulam Ali said serious efforts were needed to revitalise performing arts in the country.
To a question, he said he would be more than willing to hold a music workshop if asked by an arts council to do so.
“I shall definitely take time out for it because younger generation must know the music they belong to,” he said.
He said the kind of music being promoted in Pakistan labeled as ‘pop’ or popular was nothing but jumping around the stage. “We need to revive our music traditions”.
About the objections raised from certain corners to his frequent Indian sojourns and performances, he said artistes knew no boundaries. Being a singer he loved to sing anywhere in the world, he added.
“I love Pakistan and people here love me but I have an audience all over the world, including India, so I sing for all of them,” Ali said.
He said on private TV channels and in other music shows, one found ‘readymade music’ with more Â‘readymade voices’. “We need to dig out the original talent,” he added.
Lamenting decline in the quality of poetry and music, he said: “I have spent my whole life to come up with singing enriched with the best of Urdu poetry”.
Being a scion of Patiala gharana he was groomed in classical music since his early childhood by his father who himself was a vocalist and a sarangi player.
Ghulam Ali started singing for Radio Pakistan’s Lahore centre in 1960. Along with singing ghazals, Ghulam Ali composes music for his most renditions. His compositions are raga-based and sometimes he indulges in fusion of ragas. He is known for blending ghrana gaayaki with ghazal.