What’s new: Pakistan releases re-recorded national anthem

Anthem is based on the original musical score


The government of Pakistan has released a re-recorded version of the national anthem on the 75th independence anniversary.

The re-recorded version is not significantly different from the older one — it was never meant to be — as the original musical score has been preserved. Similarly, words remain unchanged.

But there is a significant difference: the new version has been recorded using modern equipment and it has been sung by 155 singers, compared to only 10 who did the original version in 1955.

Some of social media users have expressed disappointment over the new version as they had been expecting a vastly different anthem. People, however, have found the visuals attractive.

The new version, which was re-recorded 68 years after the first one came out, has been produced by 48 musicians, and 6 bandmasters.

The anthem features vocalists from diverse regional, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, from various religious faiths and musical genres, including Abdullah Qureshi, Bilal Saeed, Fakhir Mehmood, Humaira Javed, Taj Mastani and Umair Jaswal.

The project has been completed in collaboration with various departments including the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and ISPR.

The project was originally launched in 2017 and the PTI government formed a steering committee under Javed Jabbar.

Jabbar told BBC Urdu that after the PMLN-led government took power in April he submitted his resignation but the new government told him to continue.

Why national anthem was re-recorded

Umair Jaswal, one of the 155 singers who recorded the new version, told BBC Urdu that the original version was recorded on tape and it became “detuned” during its conversion to digital format.

It was a very beautiful anthem for its time and it portrayed the emotions very well, but we wanted a ‘new version’ of it, he said.

“When we talk about the new version, we mean a more methodically recorded version of the anthem that is relevant to today’s times and has been developed keeping in mind the frequency of the times,” he said.

He said the re-recorded version is of better quality, yet it preserves the soul of the original one.

The need to capture regional, cultural, and ethnic diversity was also a driving force.

The contribution from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) was significant as Pakistan does not have a standing orchestra. “We had to enlist help from the bands of Pakistan Army, Air Force, and Navy,” said Jabbar.

The newly recorded version is a gift on Independence Day, he said.

75th Independence Celebrations

National Anthem

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