Rahmani Abdul Rahman

Article Bio Works Merits Projects
homeland, tradition
Music (raga)
Written and spoken word (lectures)
Asia, Southern and Central, Europe, Nordic
Afghanistan, Denmark
created on:
July 24, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since October 19, 2005. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
information provided by:
Rahmani Abdul Rahman
Rahmani Abdul Rahman photographed by © Khandkar Czhoton


Raga music back to Afghanistan

The Afghan musician Rahmani Abdul Rahman is actively engaged in revitalising the traditional raga music in Afghanistan´s music life. He performs with his group of Afghan and Pakistani musicians with traditional sounds played on traditional instruments.
His music is based on classical raga music, and he is playing three different styles of above music: Ghazal, Semi Classic and Afghan traditional songs in four different languges: Pashtu, Dari, Farsi, and Urdu.
(Farsi is Afghanistan´s second language. Urdu is the language spoken in Pakistan and North-India)


Years ago, Rahmani was an acknowledged raga-musician who lived in Kandahar in Afghanistan. Then the Taliban took over the country, prohibited all kinds of music, and smashed and burned every musical instruments in sight. Rahmani succeeded in hiding his beautiful handmade wooden instruments which he had inherited from his parents. But as a musician, Rahmani feared for his life, and he chose to escape to Denmark, where he has stayed since then.

When the Taliban-regime was overthrown, he saw a possibility to play his music again for his compatriots back home. Rahmani produced a CD which was released in co-operation with the Danish music teacher Martin Gerup and with support from DanChurchAid. (More info, see: Works). However, only few people can afford to buy the CD in the devastated country. But to Rahmani, the important thing is to get the music back to Afghanistan after six years of strong prohibitions.

Since then he has had the opportunity to produce a second CD, entitled ´Mahfil´, with some of his friends, but not with the same high quality as ´Sargam´. In addition, he has had 20 of his old songs from Radio Afghanistan converted from cassette tape to CD. 
Author: Karin Bergquist


Rahmani Abdul Rahman was born in Kandahar in Afghanistan in 1942.

For a period of 22 years he worked in Radio Afghanistan as a singer and composetor of traditional music and raga semi classic songs.

In 1985 the Asia Pacific Association in Delhi, India, invited him for a concert, and Radio Delhi recorded 10 of his songs which they still today use and brodcast in their programmes for Afghan listeners.

In the period from 1980 to 1992, he was invited for concerts with his orchestra to USSR and all Eastern-European countries.

In 1995, he was invited to USA, and gave several concerts in New York and other states, and on the way back home a concert in Hamburg was organised for him by Afghans. A video was released from the New York concert.

In 1999, he came to Denmark, and seeked asylum because of the situation with the Talibans in Afghanistan. The Danish Red Cross Culture House hired him as a classic raga music teacher until 2004 where he went on pension.

2000: Performed for Roskilde Night.

2001: Performed at Denmark´s largest rock music festival, Roskilde Festival.

2002: Had the honour to play and sing for his Royal Majesty Crown Prince Frederik.

2003: Was invited to take part in the Images of Asia festival, and played 15 concerts with "Asia On The Road" all over Denmark. The opening concert was for Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra and all ministers and diplomats in the City Hall of Copenhagen.

2004: Concert in London invited by Afghan Association. A concert video was recorded here. Rahmani A.R. and his group was invited to give a concert in Sweden for Helsingbog Festival on July 22.



Published Audio,


Published Audio,
The CD was released in co-operation with the Danish music teacher Martin Gerup, and with support from DanChurchAid. "Sargam" is the name for the 12 tones which the raga music is composed upon.


In 1989, one of Rahmani Abdul Rahman´s songs, "Saqi Pa Mai Kada Ki Taza Nab", recieved the first award (with a diploma and a financial sum) in a national contest.

In 2003, he received the "Stars Prize" from Roskilde Municipality.


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Images of Asia

(08 August 03 - 26 September 03)