It is our passion to sing Gurbani Kirtan and Sikh Kirtan in Vancouver and world-wide. Learn more about the tradition of Sikh Gurbani Kirtan and Sikh Music.
The Tradition of Sikh Gurbani Kirtan was started by Guru Nanak in 1521 and was strengthened by his successors, particularly by the 5th Guru, Guru Arjan Dev at Amirtsar. In spite of several interruptions, Kirtan continued to be performed at the Golden Temple Amritsar and other Sikh Gurdwaras (shrines).
There were three types of Sikh musicians – rababis, ragis, and dhadhis. The rababi tradition was started by Guru Nanak and was called rababi because the musicians played on the rabab (rebec, string instrument). After the partition of India in 1947, the rababis migrated to Pakistan, and now the line of rababis is almost dying out. The second type of musicians, ragis, were the amateur singers whom Guru Arjan encouraged to perform kirtan in order to avoid dependence on professional rababis.
Some of the bards (bhatts, singers) at the Court of Guru Arjan, whose compositions are included in the Adi Granth Scripture (Sikh scriptures), became ragis and did Kirtan before the congregations at different centres. The third tradition, the dhadhis, also continued to flourish with folk music in rural areas of India.