Gilgit - Baltistan

The dying traditional music and instruments

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  1. Very rightly said, but we can hope that our good institutions like, WATCA, AKCSP, NEREW and the Aga Khan Silver Jubilee Band Gulmit will mobilize their resources in order to review these beautiful sounds once were a great instruments of preaching and sustaining not only our feelings, but our faith as well. We must consider their historical importance as well.

  2. In my childhood I used to see traditional musical instruments (playable) in 5-8 households in my village , but now I hardly find such instrument or its players, except, the very few whose voices we hear on Bom-e-Dunyo. When someone talks about cultural identity or preservation of ones tradition, most of us consider it a formality to be served by placing all the things related to tradition in the Meuzeum and amuse others for financial benefit. Of course many things can be used for the same purpose, however, our music and musical instruments are more than a show-piece for us. I can feel the spiritual/soothing effects of the above shown instruments better than those outside of my culture. It is because all my own values, tradition, language, and, generally, my culture is translated through it. We should introduce music class to our schools as we hear Al-Amin School has initiated Wakhi as a subject. Can we?

  3. Can these dying musica instruments be survived and sustained is a serius question. For the last couples of years, survival and sustence of these instruments were advocated at different levels.

    In additon with those, which Ejaz has cited above, another effective way is to introduce these traditional instruments of music in the English Medium Community Schools in Hunza valley. For example, in the context of Gojal, those schools are Al-Amyn Model School (Gulmit), Nosir e Khusraw Model Academy (Ghulkin),Lee Ruzi School (Shishkat), Avecina Model School (Jamalabad) and Al-Hussain School (Sost). They can make music as part of their syllabi. Most intelligent in learing are the school children, esp at the early stage. This had been suggested (along with introduction of Wakhi language) to three of the schools. I am very much delighted that Nazir Ahmad, Allama Iqbal of the Wakhi poetry, did not only agreed with this idea, rather has already taken initiative in introducing Wakhi langauge. These musicsl instruments are also being introduced from this school. I was impressed to see creativiteis of the small school children of Al-Amyn, who had themselves manufactured very small sitor and other musical insturments, which I could see from my meagre sight. Brago dear students and the great teachers, esp Nazir Soyib. More endangered than these musical instruments was the Wakhi language which was towards extinction, but now somehow in control.

    It is also noteworty that after coming from Afghanitan last September, I and Peter Backstrom (an American linguist & a friend of mine)had introduced the Wakhi Language Software by targeting the teachers of Al-Amyn Model School, and some of the Govt Girls & Boys Schools Gulmit wherein alsmot 16 participants had partipated and this training coure was run for four days. These great teachers, also included Nazir Ahmad, stunned us who started having composition of their creativitis. We are very much thankful to them, the board of governors and the Educationa Society, Gulmit for their broad vision in deciding to include the basics of Wakhi language in the syllabus.



  5. It is widely accepted that music plays an integral part in the lives of all human beings; it offers us entertainment and helps us to mark our rites of passage; it documents our history and allows us to identify ourselves, describing our characteristics as individuals, communities and nations. The denial of importance of traditional musical instruments is out of question but we must also continue to grasp the value of the ongoing creation of musical art to allow its deserved evolution to continue by keeping open our ears, our minds and our hearts to new music. we must also embrace the unknown territory into which new music may lead us to. That means we not only preserve the traditional instruments but also strive for bringing about the desired innovations in these traditional instuments to make them relevant in the face of comercialization of music and rapidly changing muscial tastes of our populations.

  6. i agree with the statement that culture and its symbols are not to be kept in museumes. culture must be recreatred and regenerated. today’s activities of our community may serve as the template of tradition and culture for future generations. so we must be conscious of learning from what earleri geenration did and we should think in terms of leaving a good legacy.

  7. all of us wakhis come on save our faboulas traditon
    we are all responsible to make our cultural institiutions that much powerful that we be able of saving our cultural aspects…..

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