Taus (instrument)

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Ustad Ranbir Singh.jpg
A Sikh man playing the Taus
Classification Bowed string instrument
Inventor(s)Guru Hargobind
Related instruments

The Taus (Punjabi: ਤਾਊਸ (Gurmukhi); Persian word meaning "peacock") is a Punjabi bowed string instrument, invented by Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru of the Sikhs.[1] From this instrument originates the lighter Dilruba. It has a peacock body and a neck with 20 heavy metal frets. This neck holds on a long wooden rack 28-30 strings and the instrument is played with a bow. This instrument projects a sound with a deeper, fuller tone.

Relation to Dilruba/Esraj[edit]

The Dilruba originates from the taus and is the work of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.[2] The Dilruba was then produced to replace the previously heavy instrument (the Taus). This attempt was intended to 'scale down' the taus into what is now known to be the Dilruba. This made it more convenient for the Sikh army to carry the instrument on horseback.


  1. ^ Dharam Singh (2001). Perspectives on Sikhism. Publication Bureau, Punjabi University. p. 158. ISBN 978-8-1738-0736-7.
  2. ^ Dutta, Madhumita (2008). Let's Know Music and Musical Instruments of India. Star Publications. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-1-9058-6329-7.

External links[edit]