Wajiha Ather Naqvi
Qawwali Unbound: A study of Qawwali in Pakistan (1947- present) through the Qawwal Bachche
Despite Qawwali’s crucial spiritual significance for South Asian Muslims and popularity as “Sufi” music, there has been limited scholarly research on the social lives and performance-histories of its hereditary practitioners. I will conduct an ethnographic study on the transformation of Qawwali in Pakistan since its 1947 Partition, through its hereditary practitioners, the “Qawwal Bachche.” Most of them migrated to Karachi during Partition and continue to perform there today. Through highlighting Qawwali’s diverse Indic and Islamicate musical repertoire as it is still performed in contemporary Pakistan, this project will contribute towards a richer discourse on South Asian music and Islam.