Songs of the Pashtu

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Zarsanga's Pathani music -- Pashtu or Pashto is the language -- has an intriguing sound which straddles cultural divides. Folk and semi-classical coexist. The semi-classical element should not be over-stressed though, for her music's focus is more folk than semiclassical. An incandescent singer, she and Pathani music are more than some musical missing link in a folk music taxonomy. Her singing radiates warmth. Her ensemble's rebab (lute) and percussion accompaniment is full of sinuous melody and rhythm. Stylistically the rebab would place this music somewhere between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, between dastgah and raga, between taqsim and alap, a rich musical marinade. Above all it is her voice which is so special.

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