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As Part of our introduction to Afghan culture and languages, I have written about the Attan and the Afghan music, but since I am visiting Afghanistan, I will take the opportunity to introduce you to an Afghan Music instrument, Rubab, which sometimes is referred to as “the lion of instruments”.
Rubab is a string instrument with three main strings which are made of goat intestine or nylon. As shown in the video the body is made of a single piece of wood carved hollow to make the sound chamber which is covered with a membrane. It also has 13 metal strings which are rarely used in playing songs. These extra strings help in producing the unique sound of the three main strings.
Rubab is played in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, India, and some other countries in the region, however, Hanif, a Rubab master in Kocha-e-Kharabat, which is the Mecca of Afghan music, explained that Rubab is originated in Afghanistan.
In rural areas in Afghanistan where other forms of entertainment are rare, Rubab has proven to be very entertaining and unifying for Afghan young men. Young men in these areas gather and listen to the Rubab Music, usually played by amateur Rubab players. In the Accompanying video we have a Rubab Master, playing a love-song on his Rubab.
The following are some music related vocabulary in Dari:
English Transliteration Dari
Song aahang آهنگ
Music museeqee موسیقی
Concert kaansart کانسرت
Singer awaaz-khaan آواز خوان
Lyrics shaeer شعر
Flute toola توله
Drums dool دُهل
Sitar sitar سه تار
Arabic drum zair-baghalee زیر بغلی
Guitar geetaar گیتار