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Music is a very important part of Sikh worship. This is because Sikhs find that music is a good way for one to learn and absorb scriptures and Sikh beliefs. Shabads (hymns) are sung in a slow and steady tone so that the message contained is clearly understood by the worshippers. Music is used to magnify the emotional appeal of the lyrics sung.The scriptures even encourage music, Guru Arjan said:”Day and night sing Kirtan of God and you will never go into the cycle of transmigration” (Adi Granth 861/9)Kirtan is the singing of hymns to the accompaniment of music and is considered as a means of salvation.A lot of Sikh prayers are said to music as it is a way of remembering and understanding the words. The morning prayer, the Japji Sahib, is usually sung and Sikhs usually keep a recording in their car and play it during long journeys.Music is also a way of introducing people to Sikhism. There is a story of a man who was converted to Sikhism, through the power of the words in the music. The story is:A man named Saijan had created a shelter for pilgrims. He had even provided a mosque and mandir, for the Muslims and Hindus respectively to pray and sleep. In the middle of the night he would kill them and take the possessions that they had. Sometimes they would be carefully hoarded savings that they were taking to give at the place of pilgrimage. Guru Nanak and his friend Mardana accepted his hospitality but instead of going to sleep, they stayed awake singing hymns well into the night. Eventually Saijan began to listen to their words and became captivated by the message of liberation that they contained. At last he burst in upon the singers and asked to become a Sikh.The lesson to the story was showing that the effort Saijan made was to put his self-centredness behind him. He then refocused his attention on Guru Nanak, and through him, on God in the form of the hymns he had heard.

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