Languages: Punjabi, Pushto, Sindhi, Saraiki, Urdu
Area: 796,095 sq km
Climate: The climate is dry and generally hot, with an annual average temperature of 27°C (80°F), except in the mountainous areas, which have very cold winters. Temperatures in Karachi are generally between 13°C (55°F) and 34°C (93°F), with negligible rainfall.
Music and Society
In rural Pakistan there are broadly related kinds of music and ways of music-making. The association between social context and musical category may be specific, as in life-cycle songs that are strictly situational and likely to be performed only on relevant occasions; or more generic, as in the case of festival or entertainment music, such as traditional live songs, epics and group dances.
Birth, circumcision, marriage and death are marked by special family gatherings. In the home these are celebrated ceremonially by the women of the family who, together with female professionals, sing a repertory of traditional songs specific to each occasion. Often these songs accompany ceremonial activities. These are usually followed by informal singing, including a variety of appropriate traditional songs, epics and sometimes modern popular songs. Life-cycle songs express sentiments appropriate to the occasion and in a wider sense serve to reaffirm family solidarity and relationships. By far the greatest number and variety of life-cycle songs are associated with marriage, the central life-event in Pakistan. Professional musicians sing and play at most life-cycle celebrations; their performance, even when unsolicited, is considered auspicious and is always well rewarded. Two types of instrumental music are specifically associated with such occasions: solo drumming, which announces the event (in particular, the birth of a son), and the wedding band of wind instruments and percussion, which heralds the wedding procession.
In Pakistani music there is a considerable range of performing practice and ensemble structure. Pakistani music is generally monophonic with various types of accompaniment. Its primary dimension is the melodic line, which may be performed solo, by a group or responsorially. Unaccompanied melody exists in epics or reflective life-cycle songs, but most melody is performed with rhythmic accompaniment, whether a simple pulse maintained by hand-clapping or on idiophones, a complex metric pattern played on drums or both together. n Pakistani vocal music the textual structure is the basis for a variety of musical forms. Most songs consist of verses of two to four lines with varying rhyme patterns; accordingly, the musical structure is strophic. Great melodic diversity exists between as well as within the major regions and extends to both tonal inventory and pitch sequence. Pakistani traditional music is modal and includes a tonal centre on the basis of which a great variety of scales can be identified, ranging from three notes to over an octave. Pakistani traditional music ranges from rhythmically free and highly melismatic songs to those in which the regular pulse of the melody is reinforced by drum and drone accompaniment. Most Pakistani traditional music has some form of rhythmic accompaniment.
(2): Country Map (Pakistan), in Europa World online. London, Routledge. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Retrieved 04 September 2018 from http://www.europaworld.com/entry/pk.MAP
(3): Location, Climate, Language, Religion, Flag, Capital (Pakistan), in Europa World online. London, Routledge. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Retrieved 01 March 2022 from http://www.europaworld.com/entry/pk.is.2
(4): Qureshi, R. Pakistan, Islamic Republic of. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 3 Mar. 2022, from https://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000020726.