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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, played by his beloved companion Bhai Mardana. This was the start of the Sikh Rababi (Kirtanee) tradition of singing Shabad Kirtan according to the hukam of the Gurus (following the specified raags).

India houses various kinds of Rababs which vary from region to region. The Sikh Rabab is also known as the Firandia Rabab, named after Bhai Firanda who carved and created the original Rabab paid for by Bebe Nanaki, Guru Nanak's sister, and presented to him as a gift. It 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.