Rubab Lesson 1 – Absolute Beginner?
Introduction :- Rubab / Rabab is a string musical instrument, whose origins of history are not clear but everyone has their own opinion and stories so in this book we ignore such things which are just theories that have no evidence, but lovers, makers, and masters are mostly from Afghanistan and Pakistan. But now it is getting popular and is attracting lovers from all over the world. It’s just a hand-crafted instrument of wood and there is no use of the machine in making Rubab. (but now we have started experiment of CNC use to make Rubab.)
The Rubab is a short-necked double-chambered plucked lute with mostly three main strings, Formerly, the main strings were made from gut, but gut is nowadays replaced by nylon, usually taken from heavy duty fishing line, Two or three drone strings(metal strings), and up to fifteen sympathetic strings (metal strings) or more. These are sympathetic strings in Rubab that produce special echo in sound. They are tuned to the notes of the raga being performed. The body of the Rubab should be carved from a certain variety of mulberry wood called shah tut, (king mulberry) but is not must. The lower chamber has a skin belly, while the upper has a wooden lid that serves as the fingerboard. This is often highly decorated with intricate mother-of-pearl inlays, laid out in the form of a tree of life, with leaves, flowers, and songbirds such as nightingales or canaries.
Names of Rubab parts :-
Before learning Rubab you need to know the names of Rubab parts because later we will not explain each and everything.
Note :- Rubab lovers are mostly from Afghanistan and Pakistan and they are mostly Pashtuns (Pashto speakers) so you will need to learn the names Rubab’s parts in Pashtu, because when you would face Rubab masters or when you will order some part of Rubab online so, you will deal with Pashtuns that’s why you have to learn the names of Rubab’s parts in Pashtu language.
English Language Name (Pushto Language Name) Dari (Persian Language Name)
Main Strings( Taar ) Tar: ~ : Main Melody Strings
Main Strings Names ( da har Taar nom)
Sympathetic Strings: ( Bachi ) Sim-e tarab: ~ :Child String
Long Drone: ( Shatar ) Shahtar
Crown / Head (Sanhai) Taj
Pearl Shells ( Sadaf ) ~ Half Sadaf design( Nema Sena Sadaf )
Full Sadaf Design ( Thola Sena Sadaf )
Fret ( parda )
Pegs ( ghwagee ): Gushak ~ Tuning Peg
Skin ( guday / chamrah ) Post ~ Skin of goat
Bridge( thathoo ) Kharak