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Posted by paramdeep singh | Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | 0 comments

Question 37: What is Sikhism's reaction towards music?

Unlike some other religions Sikhism has no aversion for music. The Sikhs consider music as the food of the soul. The sacred devotional music in Sikhism is called "Kirtan." Wherever a few Sikhs assemble they sing the Gurus' hymns to the tune of a musical instrument. The necessity of music for spiritual refreshment was first realised by Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. He not only composed his teachings in verse but also used 31 popular metres and tunes. Later the befriended a Muslim bard who was an adept musician. The Guru and the bard would sing the hymns on the rabab (a guitar). The 31 musical scores are very rarely sung nowadays but all the hymns are sung to a harmonium or any other musical instrument using modern tunes. Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, was particularly interested in music. He kept professional musicians for daily hymn singing and later when the professionals refused him, he asked his Sikhs to learn music. Music is thus an important part of Sikh faith and Guru Arjan says: "Devotional music is a valuable diamond The wise imbibe bliss through it."

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