A singer transfixed in religious ecstasy, belting out long, improvised melismas against a small backup chorus with accompanying harmonium and percussion instruments—this is the proverbial image of qawwali, the musical expression of Sufi poetry in South Asia.
Qawwali is a Sufi devotional form known as the “path of the heart”. It originated from ancient Islamic poetry and expresses the intense thoughts and feelings of the great Sufi mystics.
Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad ensemble’s qawwali music has its roots in one of qawwali’s oldest schools. The group sings in multiple languages including Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Hindi, Farsi, Arabic, Bengali, and Purbi—a unique tradition of qawwali that can be traced back over 700 years.
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