Preserving Afghanistan’s Music and Culture
thru Children’s Songbooks
The songbook project began in 1966 when Dr. Louise Pascale, a United States Peace Corps volunteer and teacher in Afghanistan, collaborated with Afghan poets and musicians to create a children’s songbook called “Qu Qu Barg-e-Chinaar”.
Now fast forward to 2003, when Louise found her worn and faded copy of the songbook and vowed to return the songs – now almost completely lost from the culture — to the children of Afghanistan. It was at that moment that the Songbook Project began.
For nearly a decade, TriVision worked closely with the author on every aspect of this ongoing songbook project, including social media and awareness campaigns. Ultimately, TriVision designed, illustrated, and produced “Qu Qu Qu Barg-e-Chinaar”, recasting it as a 24-page, full color songbook that contained Dari lyrics with English translation, musical notations, delightful illustrations, and a 60-minute CD.
The book was published by National Geographic and distributed to thousands of students in pre-schools, elementary schools and orphanages across Afghanistan. The book’s premiere took place at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC with a special performance sung by children in Afghan clothes. This performance kicked off the exhibition entitled, “Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum” — an exhibition of Afghanistan’s re-discovered ancient treasures dating back 4,000 years. ”
Additional versions of the popular songbook were printed later – including a teacher’s guide kit to help classroom instructors in Afghanistan to more effectively use the book as a teaching aid.
AThe ongoing Afghan Children’s Songbook Project strives to revitalize the children’s music of Afghanistan – which was almost completely eradicated by the war and oppression that has afflicted Afghanistan for more than 30 years. In addition to its mass distribution in schools across Afghanistan, the songbook is also available for sale online. Thus, the songbook can be used to introduce children around the world to the vibrant music of Afghanistan.