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Karachi

November 14, 2017

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Inculcating love for music among the young

Inculcating love for music among the young

The city’s antique but historic Khaliqdina Hall was host to a highly constructive programme for children on Monday morning with the noted sitar maestro, Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan, imparting a lesson to the children in classical sub-continental music and entertaining them to various classical tunes which were very well received by the children.

There were children from four schools, the PECHS School for Girls; Happy Home School; CAS School; Civilisation School; and the Karachi High School.

Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan was accompanied on by noted tabla maestro Irfan Haider. Ustad Ashraf began by explaining the structure of the sitar to the children, detailing the various parts of the instrument and other aspects.

Then he rendered the ‘Raag Bilawal’ on his instrument. It was a really brilliant, melodious rendition that had the children captivated. Later, he rendered a melody in ‘Teen Tal’, a composition which is actually supposed to bring the tabla to the fore and highlight the percussion instrument. They both made a wonderful combination and the children really seemed to enjoy every bit of it.

Then came ‘Raag Bhairvi’, a slow lilting melody which again was enjoyed by all.  At the end of the performance, certificates of participation were distributed among the children.

In between each presentation, the maestro enlightened the children on various tunes and styles in classical music which the children seemed to receive very well which was evident from their applause and the highly animated question-answer session that followed the performance.

The main organiser of the workshop was the All-Pakistan Music Conference (APMC) with Ayla Raza as the executive director. It must be mentioned here that the APMC has been rendering real yeoman’s service to the cause of music and have held lots of performances where entry is free, with no tickets or passes. And, they seem to have won a large following as was evident from the keen interest the children were taking in the music; their efforts really seem to be bearing fruit.

They had cooperation for the programme from ‘I Am Karachi’, Goethe-Institut, Karachi, and the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC).

Talking to The News, Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan was very hopeful and did not consider the opposition to the promotion of the arts and cultural expression from the overly conservative segment of society as much of a threat and thought that things were following in the right trajectory. “We have to engage in a dialogue with such [overly conservative] elements and explain to them the pivotal importance of cultural expression, making it clear that it could ensure the continuity of their existence as an entity and will have to acquaint them with the inherent glory of musical heritage as a means to that end,” he said. 

At the end, Ambreen Thompson, executive director of ‘I Am Karachi’, spoke of the efforts of the forum in promoting the arts of which this programme was a cog in the chain.

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