The Art of


Ostad Elahi

Ostad Elahi (1895–1974) was a master musician, thinker, and jurist whose transformative work in the art of tanbur—an ancient, long-necked lute—paralleled his innovative approach to the quest for truth and self-knowledge.

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Tanbur is a term used to describe long-necked lutes of all sizes. It has existed in antiquated forms since the third millennium b.c., and has been utilized for both secular and sacred music. Ostad Elahi revolutionized the tanbur by introducing significant modifications to the instrument and its playing technique, while greatly elevating and expanding its repertoire.