Music of Afghanistan

Modern music of Afghanistan is roughly divided into traditional, modern and post-modern. The boundaries between the different categories of music of Afghanistan cannot be demarcated properly. Music in Afghanistan clearly reflect eras of pre- Soviet, intra-Soviet and post-Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Neighboring cultures have also influenced the Afghanistan music.

When the country was under Taliban domination, music in Afghanistan was banned completely. During that period, music was created in exile. Also, most of the musicians produced music in the United States and Canada.

Culture in Afghanistan has been greatly influenced by its music. Music in Afghanistan is chiefly represented by traditional folk songs, ballads and dances. Among the stringed instruments, the six-stringed rohab is considered to be the ancestor of Western violin and cello. Other instruments include the santur, a hand-pumped harmonium, the chang (a plucked mouth harp) and a variety of drums beaten with palm and fingers.

Music of Afghanistan is very popular all over the world. The national dance of the country is the attan dance which is derived from Pashtun areas. This dance form is performed in a large circle where the dancers clap their hands and quicken the movements of their feet to the beat of music.

Classical music of Afghanistan comprises the klasik that includes both instrumental and vocal ragas. Taranas and Ghazals are also a part of classical music of Afghanistan. Several professional musicians of Afghanistan have learned North Indian Classical Music in India. Some of these musicians were Indian descendants who moved from India to the royal court of Kabul in the 1860s.

Some of the classical instruments used to create the music of Afghanistan are dutar, sorna, sitar, dilruba, tambur, ghichak and Rubab. The most famous Afghan Classical singer is Ustad Mohammad Hussain Sarahang. He is one of the best singers of North Indian Classical Music. He is very popular in India and Pakistan and also in some other countries. Other famous classical singers are Ustad Qasim, Ustad Rahim Bakhsh and Ustad Nato.

Music of Afghanistan is very popular all over the world. In spite of several adversaries, it flourished to a great extent.

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