Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla

Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla

Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla

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Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla (also spelt Ghulam Ali) (1902-1953) wrote the score for the national anthem of Pakistan, in 1950. He was born in May 1902 into a prominent Karachi family. His father, Ghulamali Chagla was the third elected president of the municipality of Karachi, serving from 1921 to 1922. Ahmed Chagla attended the Sindh Madrassat-ul-Islam in Karachi and took lessons in classical Indian music in 1910 and western musical composition in 1914.

Early life

Chagla became interested in the study of the theory of music (both eastern and western). In 1922, he began studying eastern and western systems of music under the famous art critic James Cousins. He was particularly interested in points of contact between the two systems. Chagla undertook several journeys to gain an insight of various eastern systems of music. In 1923, he travelled from Karachi to Iraq, via Balochistan and northern Iran (including the Caspian Sea, Teheran, Tabriz and Kermanshah).

In 1929, Chagla undertook an overland journey from Europe to Karachi to study how far west the influence of eastern music extended. Amongst the countries he visited were Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Syria, Palestine and Iraq. Chagla gained considerable practical experience from opera houses and symphony...
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