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This online archive plans to chart the boundaries of India’s cinema qawwalis as a genre different
from other song types by documenting popular songs from Bombay cinema that could be called qawwalis, analyzing
how the industry used them to tell its stories as well as entertain the masses, often subverting the ‘traditional’
qawwali beyond its norms. This archive has brought the recordings of qawwalis from various sources including commercially
available movie VCDs or DVDs, public domains like youtube.com and other social media platforms. The song recordings would also be
We have so far listed over 325 songs dating from 1945 to 2018 that could be called cinema qawwali. But since the definition of
cinema qawwali is quite complex yet flexible, as our accompanying essay explores, this selection of songs has been made based
on certain criteria that can be seen here. Needless to say that we would be happy to include more songs here that have not been
found by us yet. The 325 odd songs have been placed over five pages based loosely on different decades.