The Afghan rebab is the national instrument of Afghanistan. The rebab was used in the ancient court, and is still used in modern day art and entertainment music. The Afghan rebab also has a very deep body, making it somewhat awkward to hold. The right hand picking techniques for the rebab are complex and sophisticated. Rebabs come in different sizes, depending on the region they are found. The Afghan rebab is found in northern India and Pakistan probably due to the Afghan rule in those regions in the 18th Centruy. The rebab was the precursor to the Indian sarod, which is regarded as one of India's most important instruments.
The Rebab is in the lute family. Traditionally it is carved out of a single piece of mulberry wood. The neck and upper body are hollow and covered with a thin piece of wood. The lower body, the resonating chamber, is covered with goat skin. The three main playing strings are usually tuned a fourth apart. The strings are tuned, low to high, C#, F# and B. In addition, there are 12 to 16 sympathetic strings, which are tuned for the raga one is playing. It has three tied-on frets near the top of the neck the rest of the fingerboard is fretless. For more information try http://www.toddgreen.com/strings.html.
SPECIAL NOTE - No Warranty on Strings: Whether you purchase an instrument on-line or in a neighborhood store, manufacturers recommend that you change the strings on your instrument as soon as you receive it. Your instrument has completed a long journey to your home. During this time the strings WILL oxidize and this may shorten their life expectancy and may reduce their sound quality. On occasion instruments may arrive with a broken string, therefore, it is recommended that you purchase a replacement set of strings and consider changing your strings as soon as it arrives. Learning to change strings should be the first lesson learned when embarking on the journey of playing a new instrument.