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The Voice in the DrumMusic, Language, and Emotion in Islamicate South Asia$
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Richard K. Wolf

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038587

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038587.001.0001

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Shah Jamal

Shah Jamal

(p.145) Chapter 6 Shah Jamal
The Voice in the Drum

Richard K. Wolf

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes Muharram Ali's observations of drumming and music traditions linked to the Shah Jamal shrine in Lahore, Pakistan. Shah Jamal was a Sufi who lived in the time of Shah Jahan in the seventeenth century. The mound where his shrine is located is called Damdamah, and Shah Jamal's durbar rose seven stories above it. Across stood a queen's palace and the royal garden and pool. Ali reflects on the relationship between verbal and manual articulations of drum patterns; the emotional subtleties and speechlike qualities created through manipulations of tempo and intonation; and the spiritual and musical hierarchies. Lesser musicians are mere imitators. Qualified musicians must transcend mere replication to produce an appropriate variation or response—and yet they must never violate music's truth by deviating from the ground pattern.

Keywords:   drum patterns, drumming, Muharram Ali, Shah Jamal shrine, Lahore, Shah Jamal, emotion, tempo, musical hierarchies, musicians

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