India | Punjab


A Shabad refers to the devotional song sung by the Sikh. The word ‘shabad’ literally means ‘word,’ referring to the verbal description of the Lord. Most of the verses are derived from the Guru Granth Sahib, which is the holy book of the Sikhs. Shabad is also known by the name ‘ Gurbani,’ which means ‘message of the teacher.’

In Sikh religion there are specific persons for singing the Shabad. They are known as Raagis. The talent required to become a good Raagi is hard earned. It requires a great deal of study of scriptures, musical training, devotion and meditation to understand the significance of this style of singing and achieve the necessary skills. The Guru Granth Sahib contains the specification for the ‘ragas’ to be used while singing. These ‘ragas’ conform to the Hindustani classical music.

The instruments used during the recital of the Shabad are the Chimpta, Dholak, Dilruba, Harmonium, Rabab, Santoor, Sarangi, Sarod, Sitar and the Tabla.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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