shabad kirtan

In the Sikh tradition, shabad, literally “word,” refers to the divinely-inspired Word of God, especially as it was first sung by the ten Gurus and subsequently recorded in the Adi Granth or Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture. There are gurbani, or hymns of the gurus, and bhagatbani, the hymns of the saints. All of the shabads are set to particular traditional musical scales called ragas, each meant to be played at a particular time of day or to evoke a particular mood. The term “kirtan” refers to singing the praises of God in communal worship. Such singing of shabads, usually to the accompaniment of an accordion-style harmonium, is a central component of any gurdwara program.