THE deteriorating state of any society is reflected by its form and expression of art. Considering the deplorable political scenario of Pakistan, it is not surprising to find that its music is in such a wretched condition, being turned upside down.
There seems to be no minimum requirement of education and integrity in order to become a politician, likewise there seems to be no established criterion to be a pop singer. Anyone who has the means and can form a music group is welcome to do so.
Pakistani pop singers are writing a new chapter in the history of music by being able to sing off-key most of the time and it’s only by chance that they hit a correct note (sur).
What is more astonishing, though, is that they are being well accepted and welcomed by the general public.
For the purpose of analysis ‘Class A’ musicians consist of luminaries like Ustad Baray Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Roshan Ara Begum, Noor Jehan, Mehdi Hassan, Tufail Niazi, Lata, Rafi and Kishore.
‘Class B’, technically on key most of the time but does not posses the ability to create magic or leave the listeners breathless, could be singers like Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu.
The third category, ‘Class C’, probably comprises those who improvised music by not being in tune or off key which includes most current Pakistani pop singers. With a few exceptions like Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, Sajjad Ali, Jawad Ahmad and Ali Zafar, who have trained voices, the rest of the lot has been disappointing due to singing out of tune and off key which include Junaid Jamshaid, Atif Aslam and Jal. This list could go on.
Had there been some kind of law in place to screen singers so that they do not corrupt music in such a way, I believe we would find most of the Pakistani pop singers behind bars.
Until such a law is made, we are, sadly, destined to be tortured by our fellow countrymen who claim they can ‘sing’.