Music in Afghanistan has been a dream. During most of the years after Afghanistan origin, it had faced only war and troubles rather than entertainment and amusement. Music and poetries were not in any form to give a natural spirit to people. They gave just the war spirit describing the vents of war. After such tortoise developments, in 1990 it had been totally banned by the Taliban rule. They banned the musical instruments and public music. This was the cruelest fate to the afghan music.Musician left their jobs and started trading for their living. Some determined musicians and singers continued the afghan music and they were solely responsible for the Pashto music to reach its heights. They started spreading the music to many important cities in Pakistan. Afghan music became very popular in Pakistan cities. Afghanistan people love Hindi bollywood songs too.
Afghan Folk Music and its Variations
Just like any country would have the most traditional songs to be the folk music, Afghanistan too had folk music to be the most traditional and interesting music of its time. They were mostly based on the rhythm, meaning they were highly suitable for a happy jerk and dance. They could be sung in either chorus or solo.
Tappa are also a little older and they are mainly based on the poems. Along with the folk and this tappa, we have another genre of music called the Charbeta. This is a variation of the folk music. This is considered one of the famous sources of pride to the afghan music. They respect the literature by using the Pashto poetries and adding slow music to them. They are not only inspiring but also melodious. They are at the same time in folk style so very suitable for stage dances.
Neemakai is usually sung by women in folk style. They would be very simple without any necessary rules of literature. They lyrics would be repeated often throughout the song. Adding tappa to neemakai is also one of the richest songs in Afghanistan. Tappa is considered the original song of Afghanistan and its people. Indian ragas are also added to these neemakais and they are usually slow and rhythmic with lyrics.
Lobahs are also very popular folk genre. They are famous for mass singing. They are also added with tappas most of the times. It would be like replying during singing to the opposite poetry. It would be better if they were sung in chorus. The two parties would be the lovers, who discuss their love history or fight out of expectations. This gives a complete feel of a story and hence it mainly focuses on a drama like structure. Later this was used in many dramas. They were just like dialogs being sung using different music.
Gualala is considered one of the pure forms of music genre. It is not based on folk and it belongs not to illiterates. They belong to high-class literate people. They do not go in chorus or in upbeat. They are slow and rising.
The Pashto Language
Pashto is spoken by about 17 million people in the south, east and a few northern provinces of Afghanistan. It is also spoken in the western provinces of West Pakistan. It is spoken by about 35% of Afghanistan population who are of the Pashtun tribe, as well as by ethnic Pashtuns who live on the other side of the controversial Durand Line in nowadays day Pakistan (about 13% of the population). Pashto is one of the 2 official languages of Afghanistan that are used for administration in Afghanistan. Pashto (also known as Pashtu, Pakhto, Pakhtu, Paxto) language is the language of the majority of Afghans. In Afghanistan, Pashtu is encouraged as the 1st state language. The Afghanistani constitution says that the Afghan National Anthem “shall be in Pashto”. Pashto is also used in education, literature, office and court business, media, and in religious institutions, etc. It is a repository of the cultural and social heritage of the country. In Pakistan, Pashto is not an official language, but it is one of the provincial languages spoken by the Pashtuns living in Pakistan, in the Pakhtunkhwa, federally administered tribal areas of Balochistan. These days, a lot of people are learning the language specially those who are on combatant and reconstruction delegations in Afghanistan.
The Pashto people are described as either Irani categorized as the language form they speak. They are believed to have Persian roots believed to have been descended from the Iranian plateau. The language is considered to have been traced from the Indo-European of the languages. The religious belief of the Pashto people is Hanafi Sunni Islam. However, other versions of Islam such as the Shia Muslims are also a part of the Pashto community.
Fluency in Pashto is often the main determining factor of group acceptance as to who is conceived to be a Pashtun. Afghanistani patriotism (or Pashtun nationalism) came forth following the rise of Pashtu poetry that joined language and ethnic identity. In addition to their native tongue many Pashtuns are fluent in Urdu Dari (Persian) and English. Pashtun people are spread across the world and the major countries that shelter Pashtun people are the Pakistan, Afghanistan, UAE, United Kingdom, Iran, and India.
Pashto is written with a modified Arabic alphabet. Pashto script is written using the Pashto alphabet which has been developed from the Arabic alphabet. However it has some extra letters that stand for specific Pashto sounds. It contains 46 letters, and 4 diacritic markings. Pashto grammar abides by the Subject-Object-Verb principle. The earlier literary form is poetry; Mohammad Hotak’s Pata Khazana is a collection of Pashto poetry from the 8th century onwards. The national poet of Afghanistan, Khushhal Khan Khatak (1613-94), wrote self-generated and emphatic poetry of eminent appeal. There are a number of classical Pashtoon poets, most notably Khoshal Khan Khattak. The modern Pashtu literature has taken from modern western literary styles such as short stories that match traditional Pashto oral literature. Pashtun folk literature is the most extensively acquired in the region. In addition to stories set to music, Pashtun has 1000s of 2 and four line folk poems, traditionally composed by women folk. These reflect the day to day life and views of Pashtoon women.
The ancient or classical Pashtu music has links to Klasik Persian traditions and other various forms found in South Asia that are mostly inspired by Indian classical music. Common forms include the ghazal (sung poetry) and Sufi qawwali music. Topics revolve around love and spiritual introspection. Modern Pashto music is focused on the city of Peshawar due to the wars in Afghanistan and tends to blend native methods and instruments with Iranian-inspired Persian music and Indian Film music prominent in Bollywood. Some well knew Pashto singers include Nashenas Sardar Ali Takkar Naghma Rahim Shah Farhad Darya Nazia Iqbal and a number of others.