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Rabab - The Shadow of Guru Nanak

The Rabab of Guru Nanak followed him as his shadow for more than 27 years on his travels around the world. It was played by his beloved companion Bhai Mardana.

This was the start of the Sikh Rababi (Kirtanee) tradition of singing Kirtan according to the hukam (divine order) of the Gurus – following the given raag (musical mood).

There are various kinds of Rabab from different regions of India. The Sikh Rabab is also known as the Firandia Rabab. It is named after Bhai Firanda who created and carved the original Rabab for Guru Nanak, paid for and presented to him as a gift by his sister, Bebe Nanaki.

The Rabab is a plucked, fretless instrument with five strings.

Technical specification of Rabab:

  1. Wood: Indian tun (similar to red cedar)
  2. Strings: natural gut strings
  3. Skin: goat skin
  4. Bridge: traditionally made of ivory or bone, now it is more commonly made of rosewood.

You can learn the Rabab with us!

a Rabab placed on a sheet with rocks behind