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Kawali


Kawali a genre of Muslim devotional songs originating with Amir Khasru and sung mainly by sufi devotees. The language of the kawali is Urdu mixed with local Bangla. It is usually sung in a group, with a main singer, or kawwal, and a chorus. The dholak is used to maintain the rhythm, which is accompanied by clapping, a distinctive aspect of kawali songs. There is a change of pace and tune between the kawwal and the chorus, which claps in time to the rhythm. The clapping increases in tempo as the song proceeds. Kawalis are sung in ragas that speak of spiritual love, such as dadra, dhumali, rupak and pashtu. These songs are popular among the inhabitants of old Dhaka, especially on occasions like jalsa or community gatherings and weddings. [Mobarak Hossain Khan]