Gurmat Sangeet or Shabad Kirtan has been an integral part of Sikh worship from the very beginning. Hymn-singing was in fact the earliest form of devotion for the Sikhs. Even in the time of Guru Nanak, the disciples assembled together to listen and sing shabads, i.e. hymns composed by the Guru and thus to render praise to the Lord. Kirtan has since been appropriated into the regular gurdwara service. But Sikh kirtan abstains from all outward expression or frenzy in the form of clapping and dancing. Praise is offered to the Supreme being who is without form (nirankar) and not to a deity in any embodiment or incarnation.
The texts of the shabad kirtan are those that comprise the Holy Book of Sikhs known as the Guru Granth Sahib, or Adi Granth, compiled by Guru Arjan in 1604. Probably no other religion shows a closer relationship between music and its scriptures than Sikhism. The Holy Book is organized according to ragas, 31 in number, to which the poetic hymns belong. Guru Nanak Darbar Gravesend and Kent Kirtan Project are dedicated to gurmat parchaar in Gravesend and the surrounding areas. We have weekly Gurmat Sangeet and tabla classes running and also invite parcharaks (preachers) to come and give programmes on a regular basis, mainly at Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Darbar Gravesend.
Our gurdwara kirtan classes
Harmonium classes - 5-7pm on an Thursday.
Classes are held by Staad Sital Singh Sitara.
Harmoniom classes are free (funded by the gurdwara).
Tabla classes - 6-8pm also on a Thursday.
Classes are held by Harkiret Singh Bahra.
Tabla classes cost, please contact Harkiret Singh Bahra.
PICTURES COMING SOON
The Tabla is the most popular percussion instrument used in the classical and popular musical instrument of the northern regions of South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, northern India, Pakistan). The term tabla is an Arabic word which means “drum”,The origins of the word tabla come from the arabic word, “tabl,” and this attests to its status as a product resulting from the fusion of musical elements from indigenous Hindu and Central Asian Muslim cultures that began in the late 16th century.
The Harmonium is a small, manually-pumped musical instrument using fixed reeds to create the basic sounds. There are two main types of harmonium: a foot-pumped version that resembles a small organ, and a hand-pumped portable version that can fold up for easy transport. The hand-pumped portable version is very popular with Kirtan Jathas along with the Tabla and these form the main type of instruments used by Ragis during the performance of Kirtan. The Harmonium was invented in Europe in Paris in 1842 by Alexandre Debain, though there was concurrent development of similar instruments elsewhere.