The haunting sounds of the Oud dates again to 5000 several years back and once performed by King David and is still currently being performed nowadays. The Oud instrument is the king of the Arabic songs devices


According to El-Farabie, the Oud dates back again to the days of Lamech a sixthgeneration
descendant of Adam. Lamech was identified as the “Father of the Oud
players”. The initial appearance of the Oud was 3000 BC. The desecrated
skeleton recommended the type of the Oud. Oud is recognized as the very first stringed
instrument in heritage.
The oldest pictorial record of the Oud dates again to the Uruk interval in Southern
Mesopotamia (Iraq), above 5000 a long time ago on a cylinder seal obtained by Dr.
Dominique Collon and the seal is currently housed at the British Museum..
As the Oud turns into the quintessence of previously chordophones, it also
constitutes their useful synthesis. In the 9th century, Miwardi, the jurist of
Baghdad, extolled its use in dealing with illness, this sort of as King David did by means of his
daily life with his Oud. The Oud was in the palms of Egyptians and Iraqis when the
Israelites came out of Egypt. They took the Oud with them to the Holy Land. The
Oud nevertheless maintains its Egyptian and Iraqi features and musical stylings. The Oud
was performed in sacred spots this sort of as the temples of Egypt.
In the initial hundreds of years of Arabian civilization, the oud had 4 programs (one
string per program – double-strings arrived later on) only, tuned in successive
fourths. These ended up called (for the most affordable in pitch) the Bamm, then arrived
(increased to greatest in pitch) the Mathnā, the Mathlath and the Zīr. A fifth
string (optimum in pitch, lowest in its positioning in relation to other strings),
known as ḥād (“sharp”), was often added for theoretical purposes,
normally to enhance the double octave.
The neck, joined to the entire body, is explained as ‘unq (‘neck’) in classical writings
and the raqba (‘neck’) or zand (‘wrist’) nowadays. It extends the higher element of the
instrument by some 20 cm and is inserted into the soundbox up to the
soundhole. This duration, which has been much mentioned, is critical in the
instrument’s construction, identifying the number and spot of the intervals
and hence influencing the modes. In early nineteenth-century Egypt, Villoteau gave the
measurement as 22.four cm a century later on, also in Egypt, Kamil al-Khula’i gave it
as 19.5 cm. In modern Egypt, the length of the neck may possibly fluctuate amongst eighteen
and twenty.five can. It is standardized as twenty cm in Syria, but a duration of 24.5 cm might
be found on Moroccan designs, he ‘ud ‘arbi (Arab ‘ud). If the ‘ud ‘arbi is the
descendant of an archaic design of Andalusian provenance, the higher component of the
instrument might have grow to be shorter. The neck not often has
4. Types of the ‘ud
(i) Two-string ‘ud:The thesis of its existence has been upheld by musicologists
from Europe and Iran it envisages the archaic ‘ud as a counterpart of the tanbur,
obtaining two strings like that instrument. The argument rests on the names of the
strings, two of which are Iranian terms (bamm and zir) and two others of Arab
origin (mathna and mathlath). There is no circumstantial documentary evidence
to assist this hypothesis.
(ii) Four-training course ‘ud: The Arabian ‘ud qadim (historic lute), in particular, invited
cosmological speculation, linking the strings with the humours, the temperature,
the components, the seasons, the cardinal points, the zodiac and the stars. The
strings might be tuned bass to treble or treble to bass. Bass to treble tuning is
represented by al-Kindi (9th century), who advocated tuning the lowest system
(bamm or 1st string) to the most affordable singable pitch. Placing the ring finger on a
mathematically identified duration of this string, one moves on to deduce the
pitch of the 3rd open course (mathna), then that of the 2nd (mathlath) and
ultimately the fourth (zir). (This system is also utilized to the 5-system ‘ud and is
even now utilized as a tuning technique, pursuing the sequence one-4-2-3-five or one-four-2-5-3.)
Adherents of the opposite faculty (Ikhwan al- Safa’) tune from treble to bass. The
intention, inherited in component by the Turkish ‘ud, entails pulling difficult on the zir (large)
string, so that as it methods breaking-point it provides a clear seem. 1 then
moves on to establish the pitch of the 2nd program (mathna), the 3rd
(mathlath) and last but not least the fourth (bamm). These two faculties did not continue being
totally different. But whichever procedure is employed, each end up with tuning by
successive 4ths, every training course getting tuned a 4th earlier mentioned the reduced course
previous it. Musicologists, Jap as properly as Western, who try to interpret the
pitch of these notes in European conditions finish up with distinct outcomes.
Though the four-program ‘ud survives in Morocco, as the ‘ud ‘arbi, the tuning
does not conform to the pitches inferred from classical treatises: a conflict
amongst oral and prepared traditions. The Moroccan technique appears to be the
product of a previous method, the ‘ud
ramal, which also comprised a sequence of 4ths: ramal (?e), hsin, (?a), maya (?
d’), raghul (?g’). This ‘ud, like its Tunisian counterpart, may be variously tuned: a
attribute of these tunings is that they juxtapose the classic 4ths with the octave
and occasionally the 5th and sixth (D-d- G-c). The strings of the ‘ud ‘arbi are named
dhil, ramal, maya, hsin this terminology by no implies refers to a mounted pitch
standard this sort of as tutorial and standardized tuition techniques would wish for.
At the time of al-Kindi, two of the classes were made of gut and two of silk. In the
tenth century silk turned predominant and some texts give the composition of
the twisted threads: bamm = 64 threads, mathlath = 48, mathna = 36, zir = 27.
The figures for the decrease classes of the ‘ud correspond with individuals of two higher
strings of the Chinese qin, a truth that has led to speculation about the
relationship amongst Arab and Chinese civilizations by way of the Silk Route.
One more attribute of the four-training course ‘ud is that it is bichordal, getting double
classes. 13th-century iconography shows that it was presently normal to pair the
strings at that time, almost certainly to improve sonority but also to let the
advancement of a more virtuoso type of performance.
(iii) 5-program ‘ud: The addition in Andalusia of a fifth system has been
attributed to Ziryab (8th-ninth century), though in theoretical writings it appeared
in Iraq with al-Kindi. (The addition of this further system has a parallel in China.)
With Ziryab the fifth program, acknowledged as awsat (‘intermediary’), a expression perpetuated
in the ‘ud of San’a’ named qanbus, is positioned in between the next (mathna) and
3rd (mathlath) programs. With al-Kindi and his successors, it was to attain the
conclude of the instrument and turn into the string named hadd (‘high’) or the next
zir. (In accordance to oral custom, to get an octave on the extended-necked lute
baglama, a lower string must be put in the center. This is accomplished when the neck
has few frets.) As the historical ‘ud did not have a two-octave compass, the
physical appearance of the fifth string corresponded to the demands of a new program.
The four-training course ‘ud had no need to have to run right through the octave. Its repertory
was done on a tetrachord or pentachord, transposable an octave increased.
With the 5-program model, the heptatonic system imposed full sequence of
octaves. The new lute was referred to as ‘ud kamil (‘perfect ‘ud’).
The five-course ‘ud is the most widespread and most popular design among
performers. It has also been called the ‘ud misri (Egyptian) since of the finely
made devices made by the lute makers of Egypt, who export them
as far as Zanzibar. The individuals of North Africa have extra the dialectal title of
m’sharqi or mashriqi (‘of the east’). The strategy of tuning it, very adaptable in
the 19th century, is now turning out to be stabilized. These modifications are because of partly
to the split-up of the Ottoman Empire, which has induced a rupture in between
Turkish and Arab cultures, and partly to the proliferation of training techniques
endeavouring to impose a single variety of tuning, operating from lower to substantial: yaka =
G ‘ushayran = A duka = d nawa = g kardan = c’. Even so, there are variants
reintroducing tuning by 4ths. Therefore what is described as ‘Aleppo tuning’ consists
of: qarar busalik = E ‘ushayran A duka =d nawa = g kardan = c’. This latter
framework is utilized in Turkey and Iraq. To reply the practical specifications of
existing-working day notation, a treble clef adopted by the determine eight is utilised. This
process has been a lot criticized by individuals in favour of employing the bass clef. The
tuning of the Turkish lute faithfully demonstrates the Arab sort but in reverse, reading through in
descending order: gerdaniye = g’ neva = d’ dugah = a asiran = e kaba dugah =
d (this very last, far more mobile pitch may possibly equally settle on G. This out-of-date tuning
signifies the ‘old school’ (eski akort), and has now been replaced by an
ascending tuning – the ‘new school’ (yeni akort): A-B-e-a-d’-g’. However it is now
deemed incorrect in the Syro-Egyptian location, and consultant of the outdated
Ottoman faculty, a tuning approach in ascending get survives in Iraq. It consists
of: yaka = d ‘ushayran = e duka = a nawa = d’ kurdan = g’. The compass of the
bichordal five-training course ‘ud is just above two octaves in Turkey, it is a few octaves
with the addition of a minimal course. Arabian instruments can accomplish this by the
addition of a sixth course.
(iv) 6-training course ‘ud: Two kinds of six-system ‘ud exist: 1 has 6 pairs of strings,
the other 5 pairs with an further low string. The 1st was identified by Jules
Rouanet in North Africa towards the stop of the previous century tuned inclusively it
has because disappeared except in Libya,
where it is nevertheless manufactured but with distinct tuning. A similar instrument, located in Syria,
is tuned C- E-A-d-g-c’. The instrument with five double strings and a one low
one particular, nonetheless, is getting to be ever more usual from Istanbul to Baghdad. It has
become typical to place the extra string right after the optimum (or chanterelle).
Its pitch is at the choice of the player no rule is laid down. The existence of the
additional string endows the instrument with a wider range and elevated relieve of
enjoying, permitting the performer to run easily via 3 octaves. The
sixth training course is also coming to be used as an intermittent drone, a new
(v) 7-system ‘ud: 7-course models, dependent on a intricate technique of
tuning, ended up located in Egypt and Lebanon in the 19th century but have not been
seen given that 1900. There is one particular exception: the Tunisian, Fawzl Sayib, is a dwelling
learn of the 7-system instrument in the six pairs and one particular reduced arrangement.
A attribute of this ‘ud was that it reversed the arrangement of strings, positioning initial
the higher and then the lower strings on the neck from left to appropriate. According to
Mikha’il Mushaqa (1800-88), only four of the seven courses were played, the
cheapest program (jaharka) and the two optimum (busalik and nihuft) currently being unused in
The College of Oud On-line, is a system constructed to instruct the Oud by way of Skype by the
migrant Oud learn Ramy Adly, an Egyptian popular Oud Participant, Ramy Adly is a
young master of the oud, the functional lute-like instrument that shaped Arab
classical audio. Grounded in the principal Arab classical designs thanks to arduous
education in his indigenous Egypt, Adly has branched out repeatedly, incorporating jazz
idioms and embracing conversations with other musicians close to the planet.
Adly has performed all around the Middle East, Europe, and North The usa. He has
composed songs for theater and film, and gathered a large number of college students
all around the world, by way of an modern online curriculum he developed, called The
University of Oud Online. His sensitive, strong taking part in has been heard from the
Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and schools.
Now based mostly in Washington, DC, Adly carries on to increase the choices of his
instrument. “I want to bring the oud to the identical degree as the guitar culturally, the
instrument which is just about everywhere and can do every thing,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has usually been like a member of the family members. Virtually everyone
in his household performed the oud when he was increasing up in Cairo, which includes uncles,
siblings, and his beloved grandfather, who gave him his first introduction to the
complex, evocative instrument. “I grew up listening to the oud,” he remembers.
Listening is 1 point, and mastering the instrument yet another. Adly plunged into
his review of this age-previous instrument at the Arab Oud Residence, with Iraqi oud
virtuoso Naseer Shamma. Adly located himself practicing for a dozen several hours a working day,
and loving it. “It was a good deal like the system Paganini established for his college students,”
Adly explains. “You have to go through the fire to be qualified as a performer and
composer. I graduated as the two composer and soloist.”