Music Instruments


The Esraj is a string instrument found in two forms throughout the north, central, and east regions of India. It is a young instrument by Indian terms, being only about 200 years old. The dilruba is found in the north, where it is used in religious music and light classical songs in the urban areas. Its name is translated as “robber of the heart.” The esraj is found in the east and central areas, particularly Bengal, as well as Bangladesh, and it is used in a somewhat wider variety of musical styles than is the dilruba.
The Dilruba originates from the Taus and some argue is the work of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, whilst that of the Taus was the work of Guru Hargobind, the sixth guru of the Sikhs. The Dilruba was then produced to replace the previously heavy instrument (the Taus). This attempt was intended to ‘scale down’ the Taus into what is now known to be the Dilruba. This made it more convenient for the Sikh army to carry the instrument on horseback.



The rubab is known as “the lion of instruments” and is one of the two national instruments of Afghanistan (with the zerbaghali). Classical Afghan music often features this instrument as a key component. Elsewhere it is known as the Kabuli rebab. In appearance, the Kabuli rubab looks slightly different from the Indian rubab.[10] It is the ancestor of the South Asian sarod, though — unlike the sarod — it is a fretted instrument.[11]
The rubab is attested from the 7th century CE. It is mentioned in old Persian books, and many Sufi poets mention it in their poems. It is the traditional instrument of Khorasan[vague] and today it is widely used in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as the Xinjiang Uyghur Region of northwest China.[12]
The rubab holds as the first instrument used by Sikhism; it was used by Bhai Mardana the companion of Guru Nanak. Whenever a shabad was revealed to Guru Nanak he would sing it and Bhai Mardana would play it on his rubab; he was known as a rubabi. The rubab playing tradition is carried on by some Sikhs such as Namdharis
In Tajikistan a similar but somewhat distinct rubab-i-pamir (Pamiri rubab) is played, having a shallower body and neck.[13] The rubab of the Pamir area has six gut strings, one of which, rather than running from the head to the bridge, is attached partway down the neck, similar to the fifth string of the American banjo.[14]



The Sarangi is a bowed, short-necked lute of the Indian subcontinent. It is an important bowed string instrument of India’s Hindustani classical music tradition. Of all Indian instruments, it is said to most resemble the sound of the human voice – able to imitate vocal ornaments such as gamakas (shakers) and meend (sliding movements). It is also said to be the hardest Indian instrument to master.
The word sarangi is derived from two Hindi words: sau (meaning “hundred”) and rang (meaning “colour”). This is because the sound of the sarangi is said to be as expressive and evocative as a hundred colours. Its origins are unknown, however most people believe that it became a mainstream instrument in the mid 18th Century. Notoriously difficult to play and tune, the sarangi has traditionally been used primarily for accompanying singers (shadowing the vocalist’s improvisations)