Sufi music is a Sufi-influenced genre that is sometimes inspired Sufi poets. This genre is typically used to express devotion to God, but it can also be used to strengthen the connection between the listener’s physical and spiritual selves. During special ceremonies, many Sufi orders perform this style of music in a variety of sub-genres. Other orders, on the other hand, believe that this music should be prohibited because it is a distraction from prayer.
The qawwali sub-genre of Sufi music, which originated in India and Pakistan, is one of the most well-known. This style is traditionally divided into four sections: hamd, naat, and manqabat, all of which are devotional songs, and ghazals, which are usually expressions of a desire to be near the divine. The aesthetic appeal of qawwali contributes to its popularity. Many musicians who perform this style of Sufi music place a premium on vocal purity and strength, skipping over the devotional material and straight into the ghazal songs on occasion.
The kafi sub-genre is another popular sub-genre. This style is known as classical, and it is usually derived from famous poets’ poetic verses. Though the fervor with which kafi is delivered is similar to that of qawwali, the two forms differ in execution. While qawwali music may feature a larger ensemble, kafi music typically features a few percussion instruments, a keyboard, and a single vocalist.
Sufi music is occasionally performed in public for the enjoyment of passers-by, but it is typically reserved for important ceremonies. The Sama ceremony, which is frequently associated with the whirling dervish, or Mevlevi, order, is one of the more well-known of these ceremonies. The Sama ceremony includes singing and music, but it may also include music performed with flutes, tambourines, and bells.
Despite the fact that the majority of Sufi devotional music is written in a classical style, some artists have developed a more contemporary approach. Nadeem F. Paracha, a controversial Pakistani journalist, coined the term “Sufi rock” in the early 1990s. This style typically combines rock music with traditional rhythms, as well as poetry well-known Sufi poets. Despite the fact that many Sufi rock artists sing in Punjabi, Turkish, or Urdu, others may also translate their lyrics into English.