Afghanistan National Musical Instrument Rubab Tradition: India is trying to save Afghanistan’s national instrument Rubab
How is rabab made?
‘Rabab’ is a double chamber lute and its body is made of a piece of wood. The top is bowl-shaped, providing a sound chamber. It consists of three melody strings, two or three drone strings, and 15 sympathetic strings. We will tell you, wires are vibrating elements that make noise. The instrument is made from mulberry bark and goat skin, while the strings are made from goat intestines.
The first tool used by the Sikhs
Many may not know that the rabab is the first instrument used by the Sikhs. It was used by Bhai Mardana, Guru Nanak’s companion. Whenever Guru Nanak came to know the word, he would sing it and Bhai Mardana would play it on the rabab. It was known as ‘Rabab’. The tradition of playing the rabab was continued by Sikhs like ‘Namdhari’.
These are famous rabab players
Ustad Mohammad Omar (Kabul, Afghanistan), Ustad Rahim Khushnawaz (Herat, Afghanistan), Ustad Humayun Sakhi (Kabul, Afghanistan), Ustad Ramin Sakizda (Afghanistan), Ustad Ustad Ustad Sadiq (Afghanistan), Ustad Ramin Ustad Sadiq Sadiq Naushera Pakistan), Ustad Waqar (Peshawar, Pakistan), John Bailey (Professor, University of London), Khalid Arman (Kabul, Afghanistan), Dawood Khan (Kabul, Afghanistan). Of these, Ustad Mohammad Umar and Ustad Rahim Khushnawaz are no more in this world.
Afghan and music in Bollywood
Speaking about Hindi songs and movies, Rabab Hai has acted in the famous song ‘Yari Hai Iman Mera’ from the movie Zanjeer. He is seen with this instrument in this song which is based on the late actor Pran. Rabab is also used in the song ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ from the movie Sholay. Actor Jalal Aga is seen playing in the song. Rabab is also featured in the song ‘A Khuda Har Faisal Tera Mujhe Manzoor Hai’ from Abdullah’s most expensive film of the time in 1980. If Rabab Ki Baat Ho from the 1985 multistarrer film Slavery and the song ‘Jihale-e-Miskin’ are not mentioned, then the story is incomplete. The song ‘Afghan Jalebi’ from the 2015 film ‘Phantom’ also has a touch of Afghan music. Apart from this, Feroze Khan-Hema Malini starrer ‘Dharmatma’, Amitabh Bachchan-Sridevi-Danny starrer ‘Khuda Gaon’, John Abraham-Arshad Warsi starrer ‘Kabul Express’ have been shot in Afghanistan. Dharmatma was the first film to be shot in Afghanistan. His music is a fusion of Afghani and Western. The ‘self-witness’ was housefull in Kabul for 10 weeks. Amitabh Bachchan is hugely popular there. These films have a glimpse of Afghan culture and music.
What is the situation in India now?
In the present age, people have forgotten these traditional instruments. However, there are some people who want to revive it and attract the younger generation to it. In Jammu and Kashmir, there are mainly musicians playing the rabab. Adnan Manzoor, Srinagar’s youngest rabab artist, is trying to make the valley’s traditional music a global platform through social media. 21-year-old Adnan Rabab has become an inspiration for youngsters who want to play. Adnan has Navbharat Times Online He said in an exclusive interview that he started playing the lute at the age of 15, but his love for the lute grew after learning the guitar as a child.
‘Tum Dillagi’ became very popular
Adnan’s videos have now gone viral on social media, with millions of views. He explains about the rabab, ‘The rabab is a traditional instrument. It’s not like a guitar. It has to have different tunes according to each song. I got to learn all this from Ustad Irfan Bilal. It is certain that every Kashmiri has to struggle as an artist because there is a lack of platform. This is why I started using social media. I have combined the traditional musical rabab with Bollywood and metal music. The cover of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s famous song ‘Tumhe Dillagi’ is currently under discussion, which I have played on the rabab.
Mail and messages come from people
Manzoor, a third-year electronics engineering student at the University of Kashmir, says, “It’s a little difficult to handle both studies and music, but it happened. Mails and messages from two to three people come to me every day to teach me rabab. I take online classes right now because of Kovid. I want to continue this tradition and if I am inspired by it, she is happy. I think young people should be more interested in sports and music than drugs. It would not be wrong to say that Rabab has been revived.
He also got promotions in Bollywood
Adnan said he had done a show of musical instruments called ‘Battle of Bands’ in Kashmir in which he was the winner. Apart from this, there was a show called ‘Shourya’ which was jointly organized by composer AR Rahman and singer Sukhwinder Singh. Everyone was impressed with Adnan’s performance in the show and he got the contract for the show in Mumbai. He has several projects after Kovid finished. Apart from this, Adnan had done a show called ‘Golden Voice’ in which Himesh Reshammiya was the judge. He was second in it. Adnan says Rab’s reach in Bollywood will gradually increase which was lost in the last few years. Let me tell you, besides Adnan, there are other musicians who post their videos on YouTube and various platforms that play the rabab.
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