Tawa'if, military musicians and shi'a ideology in pre-rebellion lucknow

Adrian McNeil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


It can now be seen that tawa'if bazi in Lucknow is a diverse community when it comes to ethnicity, economic status and performance practice. In addition, the professional lives of tawa'if were greatly affected by both music and dance. Meanwhile, the development of Hindustani music was greatly influenced by the presence of the descendants of tawa'if. Nevertheless, it can be told that the lives of the people of tawa'if bazi in Lucknow were affected by both the music and dance history of it. On the other hand, there were also broader connections that are being reminded by music histories while the reason for the migration of women to Lucknow is believed to be the large-scale social upheaval. However, at the end, the tawa'if bazi of Lucknow were considered to be part of its 'moral' justification for the annexation of the kingdom of Awadh wherein this annexation resulted with the stoppage of patronage for music and dance in Lucknow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-62
Number of pages17
JournalSouth Asia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


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