Poets, compositions and performance
A Bengali qawwali team generally comprise of three to five persons. The lead singer plays the harmonium. Since the Bengali qawwali groups have less number of artists, clapping is replaced by tambourine or a small pair of cymbal. The other instruments used in Bengali qawwali are mainly Tabla, Dholak and sometimes Bulbul Tarang. The separate sitting arrangement for men and women corresponds to the traditional environment of any Islamic gathering including qawwali.
Naser has been performing Bengali qawwali for last thirty-five years. He is a quiet popular singer among the listeners of Bangla qawwali. A number of his Bengali qawwali albums, namely ‘Pir Na Khoda’, ’Belayeter Badshah Maola Ali’ and ‘Zinda…show more content… They are called ‘aam’ and 'khas’. The ‘aam’ concerts begin with with 'hamd’ composed in Urdu or Hindi, whereas khas concerts start with 'naat’ followed by ‘qaul’ or ‘Maula Ali’r Shaan’ mainly composed in Bengali. In his opinion, a cheap and popular form of romantic duet Qawwali is performed in aam concerts, while in Khas concerts, Qawwali is performed in its ‘pure’ form in front of the true admirers of music at the Sufi Dargahs. Khokon Qawwal explained:
“Actually, there are many types of songs popularly known as qawwali. For an example, Chhed (the popular romantic duet songs), songs used in cinemas and the songs performed in the Dargahs, all of them are called qawwali. There are audience for all types of songs.”
In a khas concert, where I was also present, Naser Jhankar began his performance with a hamd composed in Bengali. Although, the melody of the song was a cheap imitation of ‘Allah Hu’, a qawwali popularized by legendary Pakistani qawwal late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the lyric is not directly translated from the original. The song is as…show more content… Apart from these popular tunes, the Bengali qawwals also incorporate traditional Bengali themes and tunes of Baul and Bhatiyali music. I was invited in a qawwali gathering on the celebration of urs in the Dargah of Mastan Shah Baba. The qawwals performed mostly Urdu songs. Only song in Bengali was performed by Khokon Qawwal. The song starts with a nagma (musical prelude in qawwali) followed by a short verse without rhythm. The theme of the song is very common in Indo-Persian as well as Bengali devotional