Rubab

Name: Rubab.
Type: Chordophones > Lute.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Country: Many.
Region: Central Asia.

Description: Rubab, robab or rabab [Urdu: رباب‎, Hindi: रुबाब, Azerbaijani: Rübab, Turkish: Rübab, Persian: رُباب‎ rubāb, Tajik and Uzbek рубоб] is a lute-like musical instrument originating from central Afghanistan. Notably in India, the Sarode is directly influenced from the basic design of the rubab although lacking frets.

Construction: Being a wedge-shaped short-necked lute, the rubab’s body is covered with a membrane of animal hide usually goat, camel etc. The body of the rubab is usually carved from mulberry wood [Morus L.]. The neck usually has three or four tied on frets. Frets are tied on to the instrument. The strings from the bridge to the nut, travel over the bridge and also sympathetic strings. Rubab’s generally have up to 15 or more also travel through the bridge.

The bridge has some very small holes are drilled into the bridge, allowing for the sympathetic strings to travel through from tail end to tuning peg. Traditionally the playing strings were made from goats intestine as its elasticity and tension were suited for this instrument before the advent of nylon strings.

The components of the rubab are listed as follows. The list is according to the named components in Persian.

1. Kassah or Kasseh [Persian: کاسه] = bowl, Shell.
2. Badanah or Badaneh [Persian: بدنه‎] = body.
3. Safah or Safeh [Persian: صفحه] = side.
4. Dastah or Desteh [Persian: دسته‎] = Neck [music].
5. Goshi [Persian: گوشی‌‎] = Tuning peg.
6. Sheitanak [little devil] [Persian: شیطانک] Nut [string instrument].
7. Seemgeer [Persian: سیم گیر‎) = Site for binding the strings below the Corpus.
8. Sar Penjah or Ser Panjeh [Persian: سر پنجه] or Taj[Persian: تاج‎].
9. Pust [Persian: پوست‎] = Pelt or Skin of goat.
10. Kharak [“little donkey” or trestle] [Persian: خرک‎] = Bridge (instrument), secured on fur.
11. Mezrab [Persian: مضراب‎]= Plectrum.

Classification by way of construction:

Various forms of Rubab
Rubab quadrangular Corpus or shell
Rubab with cylindrical-Corpus
Rubab with a ship shape-Corpus
Rubab with pear shape Corpus
Rubab with round corpus
Rubab with oval bowl

Citations: Bibliography: Stanley Sadie – New Grove Dictionary Of Music ; Miner, Allyn [2004] Sitar and Sarod in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Motilal Banarsidass Publications. p. 61. ISBN 9788120814936 ;

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