Letters to Editor #2

Mature Content

I bought your magazine ‘World Music’ and had the chance to go through it in detail. I must say I was quite impressed by the maturity of its content and approach. This is the first time ever that someone has attempted to write about music with any degree of seriousness in Pakistan which alone is an effort worth applauding, not to forget that this is the country’s first ever music magazine, a need for which had been felt since the boom in our music industry over the last few years. Having had some experience in the field (I edited TV Tunes, a 24-page music section pull-out in TV Times for three years) I know it is not an easy task to put together a magazine of this calibre. Last but not the least, I was utterly delighted to find a CD compilation of vintage Noor Jehan songs.- a collector’s item indeed – in the magazine.

Good luck with the next issue.

Tahir Nadeem, Karachi


Celebrity Self-Indulgence

It was very interesting to read Zia Mohyeddin’s article in World Music. He has rightly touched on the kind of self-indulgence that great performers practice. Coming from Zia’s learned pen, the piece reveals in a masterful manner an aspect of the celebrity phenomenon that is normally overlooked because people tend to get overawed by the sheer presence and aura of the personality in question. It is obvious that Zia Mohyeddin has no quarrel with the artistic stature of Ustad Rais Khan but, as he writes, he left his concert without any sense of elation, a great event having been marred by self-indulgence.

Syed Naseem Ahmed, Lahore


From Better to Best

It is so nice to see that World Music has appeared as a complete music magazine. This is what we had been waiting for and you have done it. It is a good job and we hope that future editions will only lead from better to best. You have tried to cater to all tastes and types of music, which is very commendable though it must be a difficult task. Please keep merit as your guiding principle because that is how you will be able to maintain the highest standards. Wishing you all success.

Asra Waheed, Lahore


Art and Music

A magazine on music? Either you people are very brave or plain naïve. How can you hope to sustain a continuous activity like a music magazine in a retrogressive society? You may have a small section of the population on your side, people who appreciate the good things in life but generally speaking, we are a nation of spoil sports who don’t know how to enjoy themselves because they cannot understand or appreciate art and culture.

Anyway, you have the good wishes of all those who love music and art and I hope you will not be deterred in your mission.

Sadik Ahmed, Karachi



Congratulations on starting Pakistan’s first music magazine!

Shehryar Ahmed

Manager of Junoon, Karachi



I am very glad to see a magazine launched solely for the growing music industry of Pakistan and send you my heartiest congrats.

Amira Zaidi, Lahore


Pioneering Effort

It was indeed a pleasure to read World Music. I congratulate you on this bold pioneering initiative. I sincerely hope that the magazine will play a significant role in serving the musical arts, its practitioners and the music industry. The latter needs to be guided so that it is not supported by commercialism alone and exists chiefly for the promotion of art.

The magazine covers a broad range of areas associated with music and definitely caters to listeners of both classical and light music. I am of the opinion that the art of artistes and musicians should be appreciated regardless of any personal bias.

One of the reasons for the magazine’s success is the expert panel of scholars contributing articles. We hope to see more articles by the likes of S.M. Shahid Sahib and the versatile Zia Mohyeddin Sahib. It is good that Zia Sahib is keeping alive the tradition of his father Prof. Khadim Mohyeddin, and cousin Dr. Rehbar Dawood whose book Baatein Kutchh Sureeli Si is amongst my favourites. I sincerely hope you will also ask the Lahore-based musicologist Saeed Malik Sahib to contribute with his enlightening articles. As to other potential contributors, you might consider Dr. Lowell Lybarger who is currently in Lahore as a visiting lecturer at the NCA. I enjoyed hearing his views on PTV Channel 3 programme “Mairi Mauseeqi”. Another name worthy of consideration is Sarwat Ali, who regularly writes in the News on Sunday.

As to recollections of the past, I think that all those who possess such memories, as Zia Sahib and Shahid Sahib, should immediately pen them down so that they are preserved for posterity and we are not deprived of them on account of any fatality even if the younger generation regards them as nostalgic.

I would also like to invite your attention to a couple of notable personalities whose work should be highlighted in any future publications of World Music. It would be great if you write on Luthfullah Khan Sahib and his rich audio collection of music, and highlight the regretful indifference our national institutions continue to show towards such a precious treasure. Secondly, we owe a lot to the great composer and sarod-nawaaz Ustad Nazar Husain Khan Sahib who has rendered invaluable services to Pakistani music for a long time. You will do music a great favour by publishing on him an exhaustive feature.

Riaz Ahmad Barni, Karachi



The first issue of world music brought to life seeds that had been dormant in my mind for a number of years. A magazine dedicated to music. Sifting through the leaves of bourgeois fashion magazines and stacks of loathsome yellow journalism, at a news stall, I saw your magazine for the first time. It was quite a moment as I picked it up and stared at the front page for a number of seconds. I knew it was not a milestone. It was more of an epoch, as three young and hugely talented lads stared back at me from the cover, hope in their eyes and music in their souls. I couldn’t help but feel what is to me an unfamiliar emotion – pride.

As a freelance journalist and someone who’s life revolves around music, there couldn’t have been a better feeling, seeing your magazine. More than just a good read on the throne, your magazine gave me hope. For that I am grateful.

For the last year and a half, I have been working with ‘Newsline’ magazine, one of our highly-acclaimed current affairs monthlies and have campaigned tooth and nail for more music space, sometimes winning my battles and often not. Knowing the significance of every published page, I could almost not believe that we had made it to this.

To my mind, there is nothing more important then music and Pakistani music to put it mildly, is ‘on a hell of a roll’. To chronicle, critique, galvanize and appreciate indigenous creative expression in the form of music is a noble and integral duty. Most of us cannot begin to fathom the importance of music in the development of a nation state. It is the ballad of the new generation that will soon be at the helm of affairs. Music in Pakistan is also fast emerging as a vehicle of nationalism. That almost alien feeling of pride, of belonging – what most Pakistanis feel about cricket. And that is just cricket.

Music unites us, it breaks down barriers and shatters conflict. It’s good to be one, but its even greater to accept that we have differences. Music is like a fragrance. It soothes. Of course there are plenty of bad smells out there! But, for us, even that is encouraging. The role of music in the development of any society can never be undermined. Like repression, music also breeds dissent. Music is inherently subversive. It is the sound of the naked soul. It couldn’t be any other way. Popular culture, and music therein, provides ideals and sculpts sensibilities and becomes part of our collective subconscious. Its is more then a force to reckon with. I think its time we take it seriously.

I look forward to seeing your magazine grow.Congratulations to everyone at World Music on brilliant work done. Mr Arshad Mehmood deserves more then a pat on the back.

Ziad Zafar, Karachi



Realm of sur and taal

Finally, a magazine on music is out. Congratulations to your whole team for venturing into the creative realm of sur and taal. It is remarkable that you were able to capture almost all the events relevant to musical themes in the first issue. What a wonderful sing that the people of this country can now enjoy in the comfort their homes all that is happening in the music world.

I am impressed not only by the quality of the magazine but by tne fact thnat you also worked hard to create its design and layout. Tnbis letter may not be com plerte in its essence without mentioning then name of the grand old man of theatre and literature, Mohyeddin, whose article was really absorbing. I hope we will continue to enoy hos contributions in future issues of this magazine.

Muhammad Saleem, Lahore