GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT KIRTAN
The Holy Sikh Scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib (“SGGS”) is the main spiritual authority for the Sikhs. The Sikhs hold unique high regards for their Granth (“scripture”), which is treated as a living Guru (“religious master”). When Kirtan is sung, the lyrics are normally lines from the SGGS.
The Shabads (“Hymns”) of the Sikh Scriptures are primarily arranged in Chapters, which are names of musical Ragas (“musical theme”). So the main Sikh Holy Scripture is arranged in chapters that bear names of musical ragas. Each of these Ragas is unique and all the Shabads in that Chapter have to be sung in that particular Raga. The title of the Shabad also has a numeric notation, which many believe gives the singers a clear idea of the Tala or musical rhythm or beat that needs to be used for that hymn.