From the Archives: Roshan Ara Begum and Mai Bhaggi


A reader contacted me recently and requested that all the old links to the Music Pakistan CD box set (57 of them!) be reactivated in the name ‘of promoting the heritage’.   While the task is somewhat daunting I will do as many of them as I can and today we start with two wonderful female singers, one classical and the other pure folk.

The first, Roshan Ara Begum, was born in Calcutta and pursued a career in the fine art of Hindustani khayal and over her life achieved international acclaim as the maliqa-e-musiqi (Queen of Music).  Today she is remembered as one of great classical vocalists of the Indian subcontinent and indeed, the Queen of Pakistani classical music.

The second woman, Mai Bhaggi, was in many ways the obverse of Roshan Ara Begum. Born on the other side of the country (as both were born before India became three) in the deserts of Tharpakar that straddle northern Sindh and southern Punjab, Mai Bhaggi, was completely untrained. She sang ancient folk songs and poetry of the Sufi saints that she’d learned from her small community and at the many melas (fairs) held at sacred sites throughout the desert. She never travelled abroad and never lost her rustic style. (original post with links)

Enjoy, once again or perhaps for the first time this wonderful music.

2 thoughts on “From the Archives: Roshan Ara Begum and Mai Bhaggi

  1. Sir
    I am very happy that you considered my request. It is a great pleasure to download and listen your greatest collection. Any true music lover will surely agree that these pakisthan rare artists are so precious and unknown to outside world

  2. Mahalinga, it is a pleasure (though a tedious one!) and great to spread the music to a wider audience. I agree these artists should defintiely have a wider following. Mr. Harmonium

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