Pamiri rubab

The Pamiri rubab (Russian and Tajiki: рубоб) is a fretless six-strung lute, carved from a single piece of wood with a skin head.[1] It is played in the Badakhshan region of Tajikistan, as part of the Pamiri musical tradition.[1][2]

Pamiri rubab
Pamir Rubab.jpg
Pamir rubab, front view
Related instruments
Sarod, Dutar, Tanbur , Rubab, Tungana
Nine-stringed Pamiri rubab,from Khorugh, Badakhshan, Tajikistan with different neck decorations

The Pamiri rubab has six gut strings or nylon 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.[3] The instrument is primarily used for drone and rhythm accompaniment, for instance accompanying spoken or sung poetry.[4] The rubab is played for the way it sounds, the gut strings emitting a "less strident sound" than that produced by a metal strung instrument.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Badakhshani Instruments". Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  2. ^ "The Shahnameh Guide To The Lutes Of Central Asia". Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  3. ^ Music and Poetry from the Pamir Mountains Musical instruments The Institute of Ismaili Studies.
  4. ^ a b "Badakhshan Ensemble: Song and dance from the Pamir Mountains". Aga Khan Development Network. Retrieved 12 October 2016. Another common instrument in Badakhshan is the fretless Pamiri rubab, whose gut strings produce a less strident sound than other kinds of rubab strung with metal strings... The maddoh begins with an unattributed ghazal (poem composed according to a metrical scheme of long and short syllables whose form consists of rhymed couplets that share a refrain) sung softly in free rhythm to the spare accompaniment of a Pamiri rubab.

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