Rubab, Robab or Rabab is a lute-like musical instrument originating from central Afghanistan. It derives its name from the Arab rebab which means "played with a bow" but in Central Asia the instrument is plucked and is distinctly different in construction.
The Rubab is attested from the 7th century CE. It is mentioned in old Persian books, and many Sufi poets mention it in their poems. It is the traditional instrument of Khorasan and today it is widely used in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Kashmir, Tajikistan, India and Uzbekistan.
The Rubab is a short-necked lute whose body is carved out of a single piece of wood, with a membrane, covering the hollow bowl of the sound-chamber, upon which the bridge is positioned. It has three melody strings tuned in fourths, three drone strings and 11 or 12 sympathetic strings. The instrument is made from the trunk of a mulberry tree, the head from an animal skin such as goat, and the strings either gut (from the intestines of young goats, brought to the size of thread) or nylon.