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D O C U M E N T A R Y E D U C A T I O N A L R E S O U R C
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D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. sometimes encounter and offers solutions to,those problems Thus at a quite abstract level. the film is itself an exegesis and an argument,Before going to Bradford I speculated on the. possibility of making a film about Indipop a,modem genre of popular music that is a blend. of Asian and Western musical elements think,ing to use this as a metaphor of wider process. es of cultural synthesis but for various reasons,this goal remained unfulfilled I also wanted.
to make this an issue film in contrast to a film,portrait and in this respect I have only been. partly successful for in many ways the final,film is a portrait or rather a double portrait. It was also intended from the outset that the,making of the film should be the occasion for. conducting a legitimate piece of field research,with the hope of capturing the sense of explo. ration and revelation that accompanies field,work In the event the film came to be a study.
is also a much smaller Muslim community,of a key element in any music culture musical. from Gujarat in India most of whose mem,enculturation the processes through which. bers are secondary immigrants who came to,people develop their inherent musical abilities. Britain from various East African countries in,and learn specific musical skills The film does. the late 1960s In many cases they left Africa,this by showing people learning and practis.
under duress feeling threatened by policies of,ing music in a variety of contexts contrasting. Africanization as countries like Kenya Tan,what goes on in the informal setting of the. zania and Uganda became independent from,home with the more formal school situation. Britain For reasons explained below most of,the people I worked with in Bradford were. II RESEARCH IN BRADFORD,from this Gujarati community.
In the mid 1980s the population of the Brad,The former considerable wealth of Bradford. ford Metropolitan Area was about 350 000,was founded on the textile industry Pakistanis. of which perhaps 60 000 were Asian Cities,started coming to Bradford in significant num. in modem Britain vary widely with respect to,bers from the early 1950s and were actively. the relative proortions of the various minor,recruited in Pakistan by agents for the vari.
ity communities In Bradford Muslim Asians,ous textile mills which needed cheap labour. predominate Hindu and Sikh communities are,Thirty years later the community was well set. comparatively small and there are few West,tled though the textile industry had entered a. Indians Within the Muslim community of,state of decline The Gujaratis came later and. Bradford the majority have come from Paki,to some extent remained distanced from their.
stan especially from the Mirpur district of,Pakistani co religionists by language and the. Azad Kashmir 60 70 of the Pakistanis are,region of the sub continent to which they felt. Mirpuris according to Khan 1977 57 There,connected Large areas of the city of Bradford. GUIDE Lessons from Gulam 2, D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. were predominantly Asian there were many 1988 102 3 It seems that when significant. mosques Asian shops and restaurants There numbers of people from British India mi. was also considerable recruitment of Asians grated to East Africa then also under British. to the professions as doctors dentists real rule there was a demand for barbers and the. estate agents accountants lawyers architects Hajam of Gujarat geographically close to Af. school teachers civil servants and community rica took advantage of this Once in East Afri. workers One could if one so wished operate ca they may have encouraged their children to. within a social arena largely peopled by Mus turn to higher ranking and economically more. lim Asians In 1985 6 Bradford had its first rewarding occupations but the connection. Asian Mayor Mohammad Ajeeb Khan from with barbering and music remained strong At. Azad Kashmir once a bus driver in the city some point they adopted the name Khalifa for. themselves presumably to escape the pejora, The Mirpuris were regarded by other Asian tive connotations of the term Hajam.
communities in Bradford as relatively unso, phisticated They came from a rural area of The Khalifas in Britain in 1986 comprised a. Pakistan and the original immigrants were un dozen separate communities each with its own. familiar with urban life In Mirpur the status Khalifa Society and all affiliated to the Federa. of musician was extremely low in the social tion of the Gujarati Muslim Khalifa Societies. order and musical performance was the do of U K There were two Khalifa Societies in. main of a musician caste called Mirasi from Bradford and they were also found in Cov. miras inheritance As far as I can tell no entry Leicester Wolverhampton Dewsbury. Mirasis emigrated to Britain from Mirpur As Blackburn Nuneaton Luton and Southall in. a community the Mirpuris had little inter west London The Khalifas had a keen sense. est in music they might enjoy it in the Hindi of their own identity and through their mem. movies they watched on videos but music was bership lists knew who they all were In 1986. certainly not something they wanted to per the total size of their community in Britain. form themselves nor wanted their children to was about 1 800 persons Each Khalifa Society. learn about in or out of school The prejudice had its cricket and football team and competed. against music and musicians associated with during the season in Inter Khalifa Tourna. some orthodox forms of Islam could be seen at ments Unlike the Mirpuris in Bradford the. work here Khalifas were highly involved in music mak. ing Several of the most prominent Asian, The Gujarati Muslim community presented a musicians living in London were Khalifas. completely different profile Most of the Gu Some were accompanists on BBC Asian music. jarati Muslims belonged to the Khalifa com programmes and others belonged to modem. munity part of the Hajam sub caste in Gu Indipop groups In Bradford there was little. jarat whose traditional occupations include scope for full time professional Asian musi. those of barber and musician The term khal cians but I found a high incidence of amateur. ifa is related to caliph and is used in some musicianship amongst the Khalifas I believe. Muslim countries to mean master craftsman further investigation would show that Khalifas. The occupational juxtaposition of barber and thought of themselves as inherently musical. musician was familiar to me from Afghanistan and that this was part of their self identity as a. where the term khalifa is often used to ad community. dress a barber see Sakata 1983 77 84 Baily,3 GUIDE Lessons from Gulam. D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. Up to 1986 there was very little provision for been difficulties before over such issues as the. Asian music in Bradford schools Muslim provision of halal meat for school meals and. reservations about the value of music were separate physical education for boys and girls. well known to school teachers The dissertation Another controversy was to be avoided if pos. of Patricia Jones herself a teacher in Bradford sible. Jones 1984 gives much valuable informa, tion She found amongst Pakistani children During my first brief visit to Bradford in Feb. at middle school level 95 of whom spoke a ruary 1986 Champak Kumar Co ordinator. language other than English to their parents of Oriental Arts gave me a list of a dozen. that although some listened to a good deal of Asian music groups in Bradford and it was in. music at home Western as well as Asian very contacting some of them that I first met Gu. few had any involvement in practical music lam Gulam is from the Khalifa community. making Bradford school teachers had noted and a member of a hereditary musician fam. that Asian children experienced problems with ily He was brought up in Kenya and moved to. music classes in school Out of a total of 1 010 Britain in 1968 In Kenya he had worked as a. children receiving peripatetic instrumental storeman and semi professional musician his. lessons in Western music only 25 were from group Aaghaz Party had won the annual qaw. non European families Jones 1984 37 wali competition in Nairobi in 1964 and been. Many teachers wanted to cater to the musical awarded the silver cup In Bradford he worked. interests of Asian children but felt they lacked for British Rail for many years An elder of. adequate knowledge or resources the Khalifa community former secretary of. his local Khalifa Cultural Society and member, A small organization called Oriental Arts spe of the Bradford Council of Mosques he was.
cifically aimed at promoting racial harmony a man of some consequence He ran a band. through the use of music dance and drama in Bradford called Saz aur Awaz Music and. in Bradford It organized concerts and various Song which occasionally played at small par. music courses and from time to time recruited ties and wedding festivities particularly within. groups of musicians to give Asian music work the Khalifa community The personnel of. shops at the request of Bradford schools In Gulam s band varied over time and consisted. 1986 Bradford s Directorate of Educational mainly of his Khalifa relatives usually trained. Services had decided to adopt a more direct by Gularn to be his accompanists The group. role in promoting Asian music in school and was essentially amateur its members played. advertised for a co ordinator to organise a together for their own enjoyment mainly in. teaching program At the same time the Di Sunday afternoon rehearsals at Gulam s. rectorate sponsored a series of school visits house If they played at Khalifa wedding par. by the Oriental Arts team to give demonstra ties it was to fulfill community obligations. tion concerts during the spring and summer On rare occasions when they played at private. school terms The Directorate wanted to move parties members of the band suspected that. cautiously They were afraid of a negative Gularn sometimes received payment but did. reaction from Asian parents who did not par not share the money. ticularly want their children to be taught music, in school and who might view the teaching As a singer and harmonium player Gulam. of Asian music as a move calculated to under specialised in a type of Muslim religious music. mine traditional Muslim values There had called qawwali which is widespread in India. GUIDE Lessons from Gulam 4, D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. One of Gulam s roles in the Asian commu,nity was that of music teacher As leader of. his qawwali group he taught his accompanists,mostly also his Khalifa relatives to play their. individual roles in the performance of this,relatively complex music He did not claim.
the status of ustad master musician he,felt his own limitations in musical knowledge. too keenly and certainly did not act like an,ustad but the data indicate that in the context. of Bradford he had that status He sometimes,taught in Hindu and Sikh Temples in Brad. ford and also played religious music for their,festivities He had a repertory of Gujarati. bhajans Hindu religious songs and no doubt,back in Gujarat his ancestors had performed.
and Pakistan where it is particularly associ for Hindu patrons for generations In 1986 the. ated with Sufi shrines Qureshi 1986 He only regular members of Gulam s band who. also performed the genre known as ghazal were not from the Khalifa community were. Gujarati wedding songs and some film songs Shaukat whose connections were with Mirpur. In India qawwali is regarded as a sub genre and Shaukat s son Imran Shaukat had moved. of classical music making use of the me to Bradford from Pakistan when he was eleven. lodic modes rags and metric cycles tals of By profession a motor mechanic some months. the classical tradition But qawwali is also a previously he had given up his garage business. popular music featured in many Hindi films and while unemployed was keen to advance his. Gulam followed a qawwali style that had been musical skills He had become passionately in. popular in the 1960s As a musical genre qaw terested in singing and playing the harmonium. wali is distinguished by its mystical and devo four years earlier at the age of about thirty. tional poetry group singing hand clapping rather late in life and he was also determined. and the alternation of poetic couplets sung that his children should learn Asian music For. in a slow unmetred manner with fast highly several years he had been taking his son Imran. rhythmic singing The same musical style can for tabla lessons with a well known teacher in. be applied to secular poetry Real qawwali Manchester Pandit Manikrao Popathkar and. is an ecstatic music and in its proper perfor he had more recently started taking his older. mance context the sama spiritual concert daughter there for singing lessons Shaukat. in the Sufi shrine is used to induce states of himself had studied with several music teach. trance Gulam attached much importance to ers in Bradford who occasionally gave series. the fact that he played religious music and he of evening classes and had also learned sonic. naturally revered the Sufi shrines of the sub material from Popathkar He joined Gulam s. continent some of which he had visited and group in 1984. played at There are no Sufi shrines in Britain, and in that sense no real context for the per In 1986 Gulam and Shaukat were great. formance of qawwali friends and their common interest in music is. portrayed in the film Gulam wanted to mod,5 GUIDE Lessons from Gulam. D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. ernise the sound of Saz aur Awaz He had ob much about Asian music But the sheer sound. tained an electronic keyboard and some ampli of the sitar was enough for him to be courted. fication and was now awaiting the delivery of by several groups including Saz aur Awaz and. a conga drum set He wanted to train Shaukat Naya Saz He occasionally played at Asian res. as lead singer of the group and for him to per taurants with Gulam accompanying on tabla. form popular film songs They also planned to, write new songs together However as I got to In the workshops Norman did most if not. know them better I realised that they were too all of the talking This annoys some view. committed to older and more traditional styles ers who see this as an example of the English. of Asian music for them to be able to succeed participant occupying the position of power. in these ambitions Shaukat himself expressed Why should the white man who has obviously. doubts that he would ever have the confidence learned about this music only recently do the. to dance about on stage Naya Saz a large talking while those best qualified to speak like. group of younger musicians in Bradford was Gulam are silent Gulam however did not. already established as an Asian pop band see it that way As far as he was concerned. playing mainly hits from the large corpus of giving workshops was a chore and repeating. Indian film songs I could not imagine Saz aur the same remarks at four workshops a day two. Awaz coming up with the same kind of stage days a week a bore He was quite content for. show Norman to be given the hard work Norman,could also explain aspects of Asian music in. Besides leading his qawwali group Gulam was Western musical terms that school teachers in. also leader of the workshop team recruited by Bradford familiar with that system could read. Oriental Arts to give Asian music workshops ily comprehend and the workshops were for. in Bradford schools Champak Kumar Co the benefit of teachers as well as pupils. ordinator of Oriental Arts often took part in, the workshops but was sometimes otherwise III THE FILMMAKING PROCESS.
engaged and would then send Shaukat in his, place A third member of the workshop team Lessons from Gulam would be described by. was Norman a Londoner who had lived in the Breitrose as a reflexive observational film. Bradford area for many years In 1986 he was,making his living as a private music teacher. mainly of guitar classical jazz and folk He,had trained as a school teacher but never felt. able to submit to the final teaching assessment,and so had not qualified He started playing. the sitar in about 1984 and was essentially self,taught as a close examination of his perfor.
mance technique in the film reveals He had,learned most of what he knew about rags tals. and compositions from Gulam Because he was,the only musician in Bradford who played the. sitar Norman soon found himself in demand,This was a source of some embarrassment. because he realiscd that he did not know very,GUIDE Lessons from Gulam 6. D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. Reflexive observational films are characterised on a rather tight time schedule because my. by the presence of the film maker or a sur fellowship at the NFTS only lasted till October. rogate on the screen the use of first person and I wanted to finish the editing by that time. narration and the frank admission that this is We knew in advance that the shoot would run. a film The form resembles a kind of ethnog into Ramadan the Muslim month of fast. raphy in which the ethnographer defines his and that Ramadan would probably have to. observations as occurring within a spatial and be featured in the film In 1986 Ramadan in. temporal framework and admits his cultural Bradford began on 10 May and ended on 7. biases and the nature of his interactions with June A substantial amount of filming was in. the group being observed fact carried out during Ramadan and used as. Breitrose 1986 47 though it had been shot beforehand. Lessons from Gulam is about ethnomusico Two principal strands of action were followed. logical research and to this extent is a film during the shoot workshops and domestic. about itself The data shown the lessons and scenes The challenge was always to integrate. rehearsals are the research data they are not these and get the right balance between them. illustrative of a wider investigation or set of The shoot was characterised by endless self. conclusions They show some facets of musi questioning and discussions with Andy about. cal enculturation in Bradford but the film what we were doing and about the subject of. does not tell us what these add up to Rather the film with constant reviews of what had. they should prompt further inquiry At the been shot and what else required to be shot. same time the film has several other frames of Several times we were able to screen mute. reference it is a double portrait of Gulam and rushes and see exactly how things were coming. Shaukat a narrative of a visit to Bradford and along The observational type of shooting in. a qawwali session school workshops posed a number of technical. difficulties Norman paced about a good deal, The shoot the children had to be heard and the musi.
cians used their own small PA system which, The film was shot by Andy Jillings then in interfered with the natural sound Andy also. his final year as a documentary director and had difficulties although much of the ac. camera student at the NFTS someone with a tion was at floor level Norman only sat down. special interest in and commitment to anthro when he played his sitar An advantage of the. pological film making The camera used was workshops was that they followed a rather. an Aaton with an Angeneux 9 5 57 lens We fixed program like a ritual so that one could. shot on Fuji film For occasional lighting we decide in advance which part of the workshop. used Lowel lights and photofloods Sound was should be filmed on that occasion. recorded with a stereo Nagra,Other kinds of difficulty arose in shooting the. After several preliminary visits I took up domestic scenes It is notoriously difficult to. residence in Bradford s Southfield Square a make a film about routine everyday life when. strongly Asian area on 21 March 1986 Andy nothing much seems to be going on and where. joined me on 19 April we started shooting on the activities of the film makers are perhaps. 26 April and continued intermittently until 11 the most interesting things around The musi. June The research and shoot were conducted cians were shy even when performing This. 7 GUIDE Lessons from Gulam, D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. applied particularly to Gulam who tended Editing,to hide behind his songbooks and look away. from the camera when singing I found my Parallel with the problems of the shoot were. self having to take an increasingly active role problems in editing the film Several constitu. asking many questions in order to elicit infor encies had to be satisfied. mation and determining in advance what to, shoot The unseen film maker was becoming 1 The film had to have a positive impact on.
too much a pan of the footage and eventually Bradford audiences with the interests of the. Andy persuaded me to participate as an actor musicians given paramount importance Also. in case it became necessary to deal with my if the film was to promote Asian music educa. presence in the edited film tion in Bradford it was important to present. the musicians in as positive a way as possible, I had many reservations about the shoot It according to Muslim values. was all too rushed and I was embarrassed by 2 The film had to have an educational content. my intrusion into their lives I knew what I and to be of interest to school teachers who. wanted from them the material to make a were faced with the problem of introducing. good movie and I had to impose on them to Asian music into their curricula. try to get it but it was an experience that I did 3 The film had to be ethnomusicologically. not enjoy putting them through They under sound, stood that I was making a film about the work 4 It had to satisfy the cinematic criteria of the. shop and about the people in it but they did NFTS audience concerned less with systemati. not perhaps realise how central they would be cally organized ethnography than with making. that it would be essentially a film about them good movies. Through joining them on the other side of the, camera I was able to experience something of In procedural terms I held regular weekly. what I was asking of them and at the same screenings of the film at the NFTS to what. time to give them more confidence This is ever audience of film makers I could muster. perhaps evident in Gulam s qawwali singing at at the time Their feedback was invaluable. the end of the film where I am a participant After each screening we would have a long. not an observer discussion followed by a week s cutting before. the next screening Some people followed the,changes made week by week and were able to. evaluate the success of solutions to problems,identified at earlier screenings Sometimes a.
new person would be present which was very,important for getting a fresh view of the ma. terial In all the film passed through a first,assembly and seven rough cuts before a fine. cut was obtained and this still required many,finishing touches before the final sound mix. and ordering the first answer print,I initially cut the material for a film called. Asian Music Workshop The idea was to begin,GUIDE Lessons from Gulam 8.
D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. the film with the start of a workshop to sand that showed other people including the film. wich sections of the workshop with episodes maker telling the audience about Gulam. in the lives of the three participants Gulam Everything possible was done to develop his. Shaukat and Norman and to finish the film presence as a music teacher Ibis is rein. with the end of a workshop I did not appear forced by the title Lessons from Gulam with. at all Various problems arose with this ver the added twist that the lessons include what. sion of the film some of them centred around I learned about film making from working with. Norman whose strong presence and clarity of him in Bradford Following a suggestion by. articulation tended to take over the story It Colin Young each scene is introduced by an. was becoming a film about Norman and that inter title which cues the viewer as to what the. was not my intention at all The real difficulty scene is about with a poetic sub script to. was that Asian Music Workshop was not very qualify each description With this battery of. interesting as a film A new strategy had to be cinematic techniques order is imposed upon. adopted and I decided to shift the balance the material. away from the workshops and concentrate on, the idea of music lessons In Lessons from Gulam I have also dispensed. with sub titles Almost all the dialogue is in, In order to make sense of a disorderly se English while the song texts are in a form. quence of scenes showing people learning of Urdu which is barely distinguishable from. music in a variety of situations I recut the Hindi with some Sindi in the final song. film so that everything possible was done to Mast Qalandar In part I wanted to see. impose a structure on it to make it coherent as how the film would work if one did away with. a text Underlying structure is very important the distraction of sub titles which are in any. in film editing It may or may not be appar case quite inadequate for conveying the mean. ent to the observer but certainly operates at ing of some of the poetry sung in the film. a sub conscious level In the new version the This difficulty was brought home to me in. film follows three parallel structures Firstly working on the song texts with a succession of. it is framed as a qawwali session it begins as highly educated Urdu speakers who produced. a qawwali session starts with an introductory very different literal translations of the poetry. instrumental piece there is a long sequence Had I subtitled the texts at the time the film. of qawwali performance in the middle and it was printed 1986 1 would have found myself. ends with the performance of a song common saddled with something that was misleading. ly used to bring a qawwali session to a close and sometimes simply incorrect I believe that. Secondly the film is presented as the story of better service is rendered to Gulam and Shau. a visit to Bradford with narration in the first kat s singing by giving translations of the song. person and footage of the film maker engaged texts in this study guide. in musical activities with Gulam and his band, Thirdly the film is a double portrait of Gu From the strictly literary point viewpoint there. lam and his friend Shaukat are certain obvious errors in the texts sung. by Gulam and Shaukat In Urdu poetry there, Because of his shyness much of our footage of is an emphasis on precise patterning of long. Gulam talking had to be laid aside as I found and short syllables and sometimes these texts. it tended to arouse feelings of embarrassment deviate from the rules It is unclear from where. in the audience Instead material was selected these deviations arise An Urdu scholar would. 9 GUIDE Lessons from Gulam, D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide.
have taken a great interest in Gulam s song Scene 1 Introduction to Gulam and Shaukat. books see pages 16 and 24 looking to see Scene 2 Shaukat s ghazal lesson. what poetry he had written out how accurate Scene 3 Workshop. ly the poetry of known poets was reproduced Scene 4 Qawwali rehearsal. and what sort of variations could be found Scene 5 The Touchstone. Since Gulam s versions of poems were often Scene 6 Ramadan The month of fast. derived by transcribing sung versions from Scene 7 Celebrating the end of the fast. gramophone records the opportunities for,variation were legion We are in effect dealing. with an oral version of a literary tradition A shot by shot analysis. IV THE STRUCTURE AND CONTENTS All dates refer to date of shooting. OF THE FILM,SCENE 1 INTRODUCTION TO GULAM, Dramatis Personae in order of introduction AND SHAUKAT. Gulam singer harmonium and tabla player Shot 1 Gulam plays an introductory naghma. Ahmad barber a relative of Gulam 27 April 1986,John Baily film maker and rubab player. Shaukat motor mechanic singer and harmo This is typical of the kind of instrumental. nium player piece naghma played at the beginning of a. Yusuf school teacher doholak and tabla qawwali session It has several purposes here. player it starts the film off with music draws our at. Norman guitar teacher and sitar player tention to the film s principal protagonist and. 1mran Shaukat s son schoolboy and tabla serves in framing the whole film as a qawwali. player session This was shot in Gulam s front room. Fazeela Gulam s gmnd daughter at the beginning of the rehearsal that we re. Kasem Gulam s father formerly a professional turn to in Scene 4. tabla player, Fakir Gulam s brother in law electric banju TITLE CARDS. Farook Gulam s son tabla player Lessons from Gulam. Daud Gulam s relative player of the glass,clappers Asian Music in Bradford.
Anvar Gulam s son player of the rattle, Nasrah Shaukat s sister a nurse The music from Shot 1 is laid over the title. cards and cross fades in the next shot,Overall structure of the film. Shot 2 Establishing shot across Bradford 7, All scenes except Scene1 are introduced with June 1986. inter titles but these are not numbered in the, film itself Shot on a tripod from Cliffe Road on the east. side of Bradford We waited many days for a,fine early morning to get this shot That year.
GUIDE Lessons from Gulam 10, D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. the weather seemed especially bad in Bradford right at the beginning since it becomes quite. I wanted to show Bradford in a good light an important part of the film The wording. literally and to get away from the depress implies a race against time which is usually. ing and negative images usually projected of a good narrative point in a film It was neces. the city A notable feature of the shot are the sary to record the narration so that it comes. many factory chimneys all smokeless indica across as informal and natural often difficult. tive of the industrial decline of Bradford The to achieve in the studio In the end I recorded. shot ends on the Lister Mill in its time the this and the other sections of narration in my. largest textile mill in Bradford and now empty front room at home. During this shot the commentary spoken by, John Baily begins It is necessary to comment on the use of the. phrase traditional music in the above narra, Bradford is a mill town in the north of tion Some people have criticised this film on. England known for its large Muslim Asian the grounds that it misrepresents North Indian. community perhaps sixty thousand strong I classical music but I have been careful to. came here in the spring of 1986 to look for avoid using that term I call the music tradi. musicians within this community who played tional because it is founded on the principles. traditional forms of music like those I knew of rag melodic mode and tal metric cycle. from my studies in Afghanistan and Pakistan I common to many genres of South Asian mu. wanted to see if such music flourished in Brad sic Qawwali is certainly regarded as an an. ford and how people were learning to play it cient genre whose creation is credited to Amir. And I had to move quickly because Ramadan Khusro in the thirteenth century A D while. the Muslim month of fast was due to start in a the musical form for singing Urdu ghazals goes. few weeks and then there would be no music back at least to the mid nineteenth century. The film songs that Gulam sings are from a, Many drafts for this commentary were written repertory that is now seen as belonging to a. for it is difficult to get the wording condensed past golden era of popular film music which. and in straightforward language I decided it conformed more closely to traditional concepts. was best to introduce the idea of Ramadan of rag and tal than later film music. Shot 3 Gulam in the street 8 May 1986,Gulam walking down Barkerend Road which.
is near his house in a predominantly Asian,area to the Cut and Dry Hair Salon Func. tionally this shot serves to focus our attention,on the main protagonist while providing an. appropriate moment for some narration which,I was directed to Gulam the dean of Asian. musicians in Bradford Gulam was born in Gu,jarat in India was raised in Kenya and has. lived in Bradford since 1968 He comes from a,11 GUIDE Lessons from Gulam.
D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. musician family and he specialises in a type of Shot 6 John Baily having a lesson from Gu. Muslim religious music called qawwali Back in lam 25 May 1986. Kenya Gulam was a celebrity but in Bradford, it s hard for him to earn a living as a musician This shot was made during Ramadan after it. Nevertheless he and some friends who share had become clear that we might need foot. his passion for music play together whenever age of the film s director with the actors But. they can although the scene was set up it is representa. tive of part of my life in Bradford which was, The narration emphasises that Gulam and his learning about qawwdali from Gulam I soon. friends are amateurs and that they feel pas discovered that of the various genres of South. sionately about music we should not expect Asian music qawwali was most like the urban. from them the technical skill found in the music I had worked on in Afghanistan For this. performance of a famous Indian or Pakistani scene I chose a qawwali that I had recorded. master musician from Gulam s band and started to learn it. from the tape I arranged to visit him with the, Shot 4 Gulam at the barber s 8 May 1986 purpose of working it out further and we shot. this scene We are practising the asthayi sec, This scene Shots 3 5 was set up by me I tion of the composition and I allude to the. suggested to Gulam that he might like to go higher section the antara as more difficult. for a haircut while we followed him with the but we do not hear that part The instrument I. camera I knew that the two barbers were am playing is the Afghan rubab also found in. close relatives of Gulam s and I had hoped northern Pakistan and Kashmir It is used in. that Ahmad who cuts Gulam s hair would connection with qawwali performance in the. talk about their Khalifa identity or at least North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. about the coming cricket tournament within, the Khalifa community Unfortunately Ahmad Part of the importance of this shot is to es.
would not be drawn to expand on these topics tablish the film maker in a subservient role. but he does at least corroborate the statement as a student not the all knowing intelligence. that Gulam was well known as a musician in,Shot 5 Gulam examines his finished haircut 8. As Gulam examines the back of his bead with,a hand mirror and approves the barber s hand. iwork the narration continues,Gulam was just the man I was looking for a. singer with a good knowledge of traditional,music and who was also a music teacher My. lessons with him gave me an entree into Asian,musical life in Bradford.
GUIDE Lessons from Gulam 12, D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. one so often encounters in documentary films a time when people are in a bad mood be. Ibis helps to build up Gulam s role as a music cause of the change in their stomach routine. teacher in the film The shot also shows ethno reinforces the reference made in Shot 2 to. musicological fieldwork in action learning to Ramadan and helps prepare us for the arrival. perform is an important research method of the month of fast later in the film Shaukat. also distinguishes usefully between two genres, Shot 7 Shaukat walks out to the car 6 May of music film songs and ghazals The informa. 1986 tion that he has problems with learning new,ghazals leads us into the next scene. Having established Gulam s identity we now, set about introducing his friend Shaukat who SCENE 2 SHAUKATS GHAZAL LESSON. lives in a lower middle class suburban estate in, a mainly English area The narration contin Inter title.
SHAUKAT S GHAZAL LESSON, Gulam s friend Shaukat was born in Pakistan I loved you with a passion. and has lived in Bradford since he was eleven, He s a keen amateur musician and one of One often learns more when people make. Gulam s prot g s By profession he s a motor mistakes than when everything goes smoothly. mechanic and until recently ran his own ga hence the fascination of the music lesson. rage where things go wrong It is even more reveal,ing when there is some discussion about the. Shot 8 Shaukat questioned while working un nature of the problem. der the car 6 May 1986,Shaukat had recently started learning this. Shaukat gave up his business after a bad expe ghazal from Popathkar in Manchester Al. rience with his partner but still did odd jobs though Gulam did not regard Popathkar with. on cars belonging to friends and relations enthusiasm and certainly knew where Shau. When he refers to mechanical work being in kat had learned this song he was nevertheless. my blood he implies that he has an inherent ready to help him with it One of the problems. inborn aptitude with ghazal singing is fitting the text to the. melodic line which requires precise phrasing, Shots 9 10 Shaukat talks about Gulam 6 of the poetry.
Shot 11 Shaukat and Gulam get ready 4 May, Inside the house I talked to Shaukat about his 1986. friendship with Gulam One point may need, clarification the friend who had been trying Shaukat says in Urdu I ve got a problem of. to teach Shaukat and who introduced him to rhythm to which Gulam replies God will. Gulam He also told Ghulam Bhai that I ll ing the rhythm will come The books they. never be able to sing because I ve got no idea hold are hand written volumes of song texts. about rhythm is a relative of Gulam s not in several languages including Gujarati and. of Shaukat s Shaukat s indebtedness to Gulam Urdu Gulam has many such books all writ. is quite apparent His mention of Ramadan as ten in Gujarati script In Manchester I met a. 13 GUIDE Lessons from Gulam, D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. young Asian singer who spoke Urdu but could Shot 12 focuses on the drummers. not write and read it with facility He rendered Yusuf an upper school mathematics teacher. the Urdu texts in his songbooks with a Roman playing doholak and Shaukat s son Imran on. transliteration tabla Note that Yusuf is left handed and the. drum head facing the camera is that used to, Shots 12 13 Shaukat sings and talks 4 May strike the lower pitches There is a sound cut. 1986 here the last part of Shot 12 is out of synch. the sound of Shot 13 having been laid for, The material presented here is only a part ward Shot 13 provides important information.
of Shaukat s performance The text is from about Gulam s method of teaching which is to. a poem by Bahadur Shah II the last Moghul sing along with his prot g e acting as a guide. Emperor His poetic pen name was Zafar Notation oral or written is not being used. The part of the ghazal Shaukat sings says here Gulam demonstrates through his own. singing The performance breaks down when, I had already forgotten her Shaukat gets badly out of tune and Gulam. People reminded me brings them to a halt I can t remember the. notes says Shaukat Go on playing says, People have done me favours Gulam to the drummers but before they can. And I give thanks to you start off again the film maker interrupts to. find out what s wrong Shaukat and Gulam, You shot me with the arrow of a glance explain that he s having trouble playing the. People pierced me with their eyes harmonium and singing the ghazal at the same. In my love against my madness, What abuse did people not utter Shot 14 Shaukat sings with Yusuf s mouth. drumming 4 May 1986,You destroyed me pretty largely.
People set fire to the ruins This analysis is shown to be correct when. Shaukat sings without playing the harmonium, Loving an idol what can I say Yusuf accompanies him by drumming on his. Every face was like hers legs and vocalising the drum sounds These are. not orthodox drum bols mnemonic syllables, I had already forgotten her but verbal representations of the drum sounds. People reminded me as Yusuf imagines them he later told me. In choosing the sub script for the inter tide They are abstractions from practice I had. I loved you with a passion I used a line seen Shaukat and Yusuf doing this with the. half couplet from in an early translation I was same ghazal in the car when we drove back. given of this poem In the present translation from Manchester after a lesson with Popathkar. this line is rendered as In my love against my and asked them to do the same here Yusuf. madness The line was used as a sub script was reluctant but agreed and this is one part. to suggest that the object of Shaukat s love was of the film he dislikes He thinks it makes him. music herself appear foolish and he expressed the hope that. none of his school pupils will get to see this as,I will never be able to keep order again His. GUIDE Lessons from Gulam 14, D O C U M E N TA RY E D U C AT I O N A L R E S O U R C E S study guide. urge to play a tiha i a type of rhythmic ca,dence at the end seems irrepressible After this.
brief performance Yusuf gives his own expla,nation for Shaukat s difficulties. Shot 15 Shaukat on his learning the ghazal 4,Shaukat pinpoints the problem that if you. learn something by yourself you may learn it,incorrectly The question about Gulam being. his teacher may seem redundant we already,know that but it was asked in the hope of. eliciting information about their relationship,and Gulam supplies this denying that he is.
a teacher He is my best friend It appears,that Gulam wants to avoid implying that their. relationship is unequal Shaukat on the other SCENE 3 WORKSHOP. hand seems to feel no reservation about ac, knowledging Gulam as his teacher and de Inter title. scribes how he gets nervous in front of him, This illustrates the fact that in South Asia WORKSHOP. relations between people temporarily or per Dha Dhin Dhin Dha. manently unequal guest host pupil teacher, wifetaker wifegiver etc are often marked This section of the film focuses on playing the. verbally by contradictory expressions of denial tabla drums and shows various aspects of the. and affirmation tabla learning process ending with a brief. solo by a highly experienced player The tabla,is the principal type of drum used to accom.
pany the various genres of art music in North,India and Pakistan and Afghanistan and has. a highly complex technique and repertory,The different strokes on the tabla are given. onomatopoeic mnemonics bols such as Dha,Dhin Na Ta Kat these can be used both as a. written and oral notation The various metric,cycles tals of Hindustani music are represent. ed in skeletal form with standard sets of bols,Tin Tal and Ek Tal 16 and 12 rhythmic units.
or matras respectively are mentioned here,and all the tabla playing in this scene is in Tin.


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