Instrument Glossary - Aga Khan Music Initiative - AKDN
Aga Khan Development Network

Instrument Glossary: Homayun Sakhi

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Bardic Divas
Badakhshan Ensemble
Alim and Fargana Qasimov
Homayun Sakhi
Invisible face of the Beloved

Afghan Rubâb
The Afghan rubâb is a doublechambered lute with 3 main strings (originally made of animal gut, now nylon), 4 frets, 2-3 long drone strings, and up to 15 sympathetic strings (made of copper and steel). It was probably invented in the 18th century in Kandahar, Kabul, Peshawar, Ghazni, or another city with a sizable Pashtun population. In the 19th century it was also known in Rampur and in Punjab (northern India). In India the Afghan rubâb was modified to become the sarod.

The pair of hand-played, tunable drums that is the principal percussion instrument in North Indian classical music, also used since the middle of the 19th century in the Kabuli art music tradition. The bâyân (“left”) is a metal kettle drum whose pitch is modulated by pressure from the heel of the hand on the drum skin. The tabla or dâhinâ (“right”) is a wooden drum whose skin can be tuned to a precise pitch.

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