Pakistani folk music

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Music of Pakistan
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Specific forms
Religious music
Ethnic music
Other music
Media and performance
Music awardsHum Awards
Lux Style Awards
Nigar Awards
Pakistan Media Awards
ARY Film Awards
Music chartsPatari Haftanama
Music festivalsAll Pakistan Music Conference
Lahore Music Meet
Lok Virsa Mela
Music mediaMagazines



Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthemQaumi Taranah
Regional music
  • Azad Jammu & Kashmir
  • Balochistan
  • Tribal Areas
  • Gilgit-Baltistan
  • Islamabad Capital Territory
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Punjab
  • Sindh

Major folk singers[edit]


The Sindhi kafi is an indigenous musical form of Sindh and Punjab, Pakistan. The word kafi, is of Ararbic origin, used in the sense of "final" or "enough" in the expression “Allah Kafi”, which means, “God Almighty is Supreme”. Thus the kafi is a devotional form of music composed in a particular form derived from a mixture of classical, semi-classical, and light music forms (specifically, the khayal, tappa, thumri, and geet). The mystic poetry of the Sufi saints is usually sung in this mode.

There is a Punjabi variant of kafi singing. Like Sindhi kafi, the mood and the theme of Punjabi Kafi may also be termed as secular and humanistic. In their Kafis, Shah Hussain (16th century) and Bulleh Shah (18th century) have adopted a strategy to communicate their thoughts, serving the humanity in a powerful and effective way. The satirical tone of these kafis, sometimes, depicts true picture of political situations and social conditions of their own days.

The Sindhi kafi is short, simple, and lucid in composition and tone. Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, a renowned Sufi saint and mystic poet of Sindh (d. 1752), contributed considerably to the development of the Sindhi kafi, writing many verses and composing tunes which he named “The Sur of Shah Latif”. His tunes are still popular.

The late Zahida Parveen was a master of kafi singing. Her daughter, Shahida Parveen, possesses her mother's command of the form and her devotional urge. Yet today's trends, and perhaps necessity, have led her away from kafis and towards the geet, the ghazal, semi-classical and folk forms. Abida Parveen is another renowned kafi singer of Sindh, but she, too, sings in many other genres.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Folk singer Alam Lohar remembered Pakistan Today (newspaper), Published 4 July 2012, Retrieved 23 July 2019
  2. ^ Adnan Lodhi (9 March 2016). "Pathanay Khan's death anniversary goes unnoticed". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  3. ^ Gul Baig (10 April 2009). "Ustad Juman - a legend of Sindhi music". The Nation (newspaper). Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  4. ^ Legendary folk singer Reshma dies Dawn (newspaper), Published 3 November 2013, Retrieved 23 July 2019
  5. ^ India honours Abida Parveen with lifetime achievement award Dawn (newspaper), Published 9 Oct 2012, Retrieved 23 July 2019
  6. ^ Surriya Khanum performing at Coke Studio (Pakistan), videoclip on YouTube Retrieved 23 July 2019