Founded in 1997 in Bonn, Germany, the Razbar Ensembles primary goal is to present the sacred music of the Ahl-e Haqq, whose extraordinarily rich repertoire is derived from its deep roots in ancient spiritual and artistic traditions. From the outset of their artistic career, the Razbar Ensemble has drawn its motivation from the audience, who has been especially enthusiastic about discovering this previously unknown style of music.
The repertoire consists of a rich heritage of sacred texts and melodies that have been passed down from generation to generation. The compositions are varied, and there is no predetermined format for their performance. The texts and melodies are intuitively arranged, and even the number of musicians, singers, and members of the chorus may vary from one concert to the next.
The members of the ensemble have no formal musical training but instead have been raised with this music. Even when they are playing passionately on stage they are engaged in a devotional state of worship. The Ensemble primarily uses three instruments. The main instrument is the tanbur, a long-necked lute with three strings that has been in existence for some two thousands years. This lute acquired a special status in the 15th century, and has never been played for secular purposes since then. Along with the tanbur, the daf (frame drum) is used to create merriment and to stir the emotions. The thundering tones of the daf are unsurpassed by any other kind of drum. These two instruments are often accompanied by another stringed instrument called the Kamancheh (fiddle), whose subtle sounds imbue the music with a sense of nostalgia.