Ajmal Hussain Mughal is a permanent faculty member in the first and only Musicology Department in Pakistan, established in 2002 at the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore. The department was set up with the ambition of reviving South Asian classical music as an art form, and to impart an intelligent understanding of music in order to produce accomplished musicians and musicologists in the country. The vision came from the founder and first Head of the Department, Prof. Raza Kazim, who is a philosopher and musicologist and also the founder of Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts, a private research organization. He had done an extensive inquiry on the human mind from an evolutionary perspective, and on the nature and history of Indian classical music as a powerful tool of non-verbal communication.
As part of the first batch to study under the Department, Ajmal did his undergraduate degree in Musicology in 2005. Since then, he has been teaching courses including The Philosophy of Music and Music and Modern Science at the NCA. Additionally, he has been in charge of managing the college’s digital music archive and he has been a Research Associate for the Board of Studies which is focused on developing college curricula to transition from an annual system to a semester system. Ajmal did a Master of Philosophy in Art History from the University of Punjab, an institution at which he also taught. Ajmal has participated in international conferences and has published several research papers on the broader subject of music in Pakistan and India. After securing funding from the NCA, he completed his Master of Studies in Musicology at the University of Oxford. Ajmal is continuing as a DPhil candidate at the university, and has secured the Carolyn and Franco Gianturco Scholarship in Music, an OPP scholarship and an award from the Zaman Foundation in Pakistan to further his studies. He will be examining the historical journey of North Indian classical music in Pakistan, with particular focus on the effects and aftermath of Partition. His work will be one of the first to provide comprehensive academic engagement with the history of music in Pakistan and will be examining the contestation, translation and transmission of musical knowledge in the context of transitioning identity politics.