The Lion of Afghanistan
Recently I researched and purchased an instrument called a Rubab which is a lute like instrument from Afghanistan. The Rubab is mainly used by Afghan, Pashtun, Kashmiri, and Iranian Kurdish classical musicians. The Rubab is known as “the lion of instruments” and is one of the two national instruments of Afghanistan. It has three melody strings tuned in fourths, three drone strings and 11 or 12 sympathetic strings. The instrument is made from the trunk of a mulberry tree, the head from an animal skin such as a goat skin, and the strings either gut (from the intestines of young goats, brought to the size of thread) or nylon. Of course, I bought it for the haunting sound it creates. I enjoy playing it in the early morning as opposed to the evening as it just sounds like you are waking up in Kabul or Cairo!