Rabab (instrument) is one of the national musical instruments of Afghanistan and is famous in Pashtoon , Termed rabab has been given in the Kitab- al-Musiqi Al Kabir of Al-Farabi (AD 872-950) and have many different stories about its development stage so rabab history is not clear because there is two type of famous rababs still is in use. One is Rabab of India or Kashmiri rabab and another rabab called Afghani rabab or Kabuli rabab, which is different from indian / kashmiri rabab by shap, Afghani rabab is plucked (instead of bowed like Indian one). The Rabab was gifted to Guru Nanak as a present from his sister Bebe Nanaki, .Rababs shap vary from region to region
Rabab meaning? Description
Rabab name was derived from Arabic language “Rebab” which meaning is “played with bow”, Rabab is the nation instrument of Afghanistan As Rabab is the nation instrument of Afghanistan so its Famous in Pashtun and many top Players and maker are from them so, so many writer write history and says its originated from central Afghanistan but many old facts reject this history. Who invented Rabab is still unclear.
How many strings are in Rabab?
In Rabab there are three main strings and 13 child strings but now adays mostly rabab expert play four string rabab and have 15 to 17 child strings, Increasing Main strings able rabab to play a song in base and Zir which is the functionality of two rabab that is tune in base and Zir.
Afghani or Kabuli Rabab
kabul is the capital of Afghanistan so Rabab that you buy from Kabul is named Kabuli Rabab basically “Herat” City rabab maker are expert but kabul is the capital and is linked to Herat so people know Afghani rabab by kabuli rabab.
Peshawar is a subdivision in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan so While Peshawer made rabab is named Peshaweri Rabab basically “Sufaid Sang” is a Village in Peshawer whose Rabab maker are expert in Making top Quality Rabab but its very backward area of the Peshawar so its name is behind the scene.
The price of a Rabab depend on Rabab quality, Quality depend on Rabab wood, Rabab Maker and some how Rabab age.
Both in Afghanistan and Pakistan low quality and high quality rabab are available so it depend on buyer which quality he order.
But if compare Afghani Rabab price VS Peshaweri Rabab price so Peshawari Rabab is cheaper then Afghani Rabab.
Best Wood for Rabab!
Rabab wood is the main factor of rabab quality, many tree wood can be use to make a rabab but the most use rabab wood is toot (mulberry) and walnut wood but the top quality and mostly Afghani Rabab are made from shah toot (King Mulberry) which is expensive but best option if available.
In mulberry there is types e.g tirawal shah tot, chatral shah tot , swat shah tot etc. but Afghani shah tot and specially shah tot that is from cold area is the sign of best shah tot.
Mostly peshaweri Rabab maker use Mulberry but Afghani mostly use King mulberry ( Bidana ) because they have king mulberry in there forest but in Pakistan mulberry can be found any where specially in KPK.