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From Urdu قوّالی‎, Persian قوّالی‎, from قوّال(qawwal).



qawwali (countable and uncountable, plural qawwalis)

  1. (music, uncountable) A style of Muslim devotional music, especially among the Sufis, accompanied by drums and harmonium.
    • 1994, Simon Broughton, World Music: The Rough Guide:
      Jameela Siddiqi listens to qawwali and talks to its performers […].
  2. (music, countable) A song in this style.
    • 1997, Kiran Nagarkar, Cuckold, HarperCollins 2013, p. 223:
      They are singing not a religious qawwali but its secular and lay cousin.
    • 2016, Sunil Khilnani, Incarnations, Penguin 2017, p. 86:
      Every Thursday, in the dargah's enclosure, musicians in shimmering turquoise kurtas, their fingers bejewelled with bling, perform qawwalis attributed to Khusrau […].

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