According to El-Farabie, the Oud dates again to the times of Lamech a sixthgeneration
descendant of Adam. Lamech was acknowledged as the “Father of the Oud
players”. The first look of the Oud was 3000 BC. The desecrated
skeleton recommended the type of the Oud. Oud is identified as the 1st stringed
instrument in history.
The oldest pictorial record of the Oud dates again to the Uruk time period in Southern
Mesopotamia (Iraq), in excess of 5000 a long time back on a cylinder seal obtained by Dr.
Dominique Collon and the seal is currently housed at the British Museum..
As the Oud gets the quintessence of earlier chordophones, it also
constitutes their purposeful synthesis. In the 9th century, Miwardi, the jurist of
Baghdad, extolled its use in treating illness, this sort of as King David did through his
existence with his Oud. The Oud was in the palms of Egyptians and Iraqis when the
Israelites arrived out of Egypt. They took the Oud with them to the Holy Land. The
Oud nevertheless maintains its Egyptian and Iraqi functions and musical stylings. The Oud
was played in sacred spots this sort of as the temples of Egypt.
In the very first centuries of Arabian civilization, the oud experienced four programs (one particular
string for every program – double-strings arrived later) only, tuned in successive
fourths. These have been known as (for the cheapest in pitch) the Bamm, then arrived
(higher to highest in pitch) the Mathnā, the Mathlath and the Zīr. A fifth
string (greatest in pitch, least expensive in its positioning in relation to other strings),
referred to as ḥād ("sharp"), was often extra for theoretical purposes,
normally to complement the double octave.
The neck, joined to the body, is described as 'unq ('neck') in classical writings
and the raqba ('neck') or zand ('wrist') these days. It extends the higher part of the
instrument by some 20 cm and is inserted into the soundbox up to the
soundhole. This length, which has been significantly talked about, is crucial in the
instrument's development, deciding the variety and location of the intervals
and therefore impacting the modes. In early nineteenth-century Egypt, Villoteau gave the
measurement as 22.4 cm a century afterwards, also in Egypt, Kamil al-Khula'i gave it
as 19.five cm. In modern Egypt, the duration of the neck may differ among eighteen
and twenty.five can. It is standardized as 20 cm in Syria, but a duration of 24.five cm may
be found on Moroccan versions, he 'ud 'arbi (Arab 'ud). If the 'ud 'arbi is the
descendant of an archaic design of Andalusian provenance, the upper component of the
instrument might have turn out to be shorter. The neck hardly ever has
4. Models 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 conditions (bamm and zir) and two other people of Arab
origin (mathna and mathlath). There is no circumstantial documentary evidence
to assist this speculation.
(ii) 4-training course 'ud: The Arabian 'ud qadim (ancient lute), in particular, invited
cosmological speculation, linking the strings with the humours, the temperature,
the aspects, the seasons, the cardinal points, the zodiac and the stars. The
strings may possibly be tuned bass to treble or treble to bass. Bass to treble tuning is
represented by al-Kindi (ninth century), who advocated tuning the cheapest course
(bamm or 1st string) to the cheapest singable pitch. Putting the ring finger on a
mathematically established duration of this string, 1 moves on to deduce the
pitch of the third open program (mathna), then that of the next (mathlath) and
finally the fourth (zir). (This method is also utilized to the five-training course 'ud and is
nonetheless employed as a tuning technique, subsequent the sequence one-4-two-three-five or 1-four-two-5-3.)
Adherents of the reverse college (Ikhwan al- Safa') tune from treble to bass. The
intention, inherited in element by the Turkish 'ud, entails pulling challenging on the zir (higher)
string, so that as it approaches breaking-stage it gives a obvious audio. A single then
moves on to decide the pitch of the second course (mathna), the third
(mathlath) and ultimately the fourth (bamm). These two faculties did not stay
fully separate. But whichever treatment is utilized, each conclude up with tuning by
successive 4ths, every course becoming tuned a 4th above the lower system
previous it. Musicologists, Eastern as effectively as Western, who try out to interpret the
pitch of these notes in European phrases conclude up with different results.
Though the 4-training course 'ud survives in Morocco, as the 'ud 'arbi, the tuning
does not conform to the pitches inferred from classical treatises: a conflict
between oral and written traditions. The Moroccan strategy would seem to be the
item of a earlier program, the 'ud
ramal, which also comprised a sequence of 4ths: ramal (?e), hsin, (?a), maya (?
d'), raghul (?g'). This 'ud, like its Tunisian counterpart, could be variously tuned: a
feature of these tunings is that they juxtapose the standard 4ths with the octave
and at times the fifth and 6th (D-d- G-c). The strings of the 'ud 'arbi are named
dhil, ramal, maya, hsin this terminology by no indicates refers to a fixed pitch
regular these kinds of as academic and standardized tuition strategies would desire for.
At the time of al-Kindi, two of the courses have been created of gut and two of silk. In the
tenth century silk became 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 people of two upper
strings of the Chinese qin, a fact that has led to speculation about the
relationship in between Arab and Chinese civilizations by way of the Silk Route.
Yet another characteristic of the 4-program 'ud is that it is bichordal, having double
courses. thirteenth-century iconography shows that it was already usual to pair the
strings at that time, most likely to boost sonority but also to permit the
advancement of a far more virtuoso sort of performance.
(iii) 5-program 'ud: The addition in Andalusia of a fifth system has been
attributed to Ziryab (eighth-ninth century), although in theoretical writings it appeared
in Iraq with al-Kindi. (The addition of this added program has a parallel in China.)
With Ziryab the fifth course, acknowledged as awsat ('intermediary'), a phrase perpetuated
in the 'ud of San'a' named qanbus, is placed among the 2nd (mathna) and
3rd (mathlath) courses. With al-Kindi and his successors, it was to attain the
finish of the instrument and become the string referred to as hadd ('high') or the second
zir. (In accordance to oral tradition, to obtain an octave on the long-necked lute
baglama, a minimal string ought to be placed in the middle. This is accomplished when the neck
has few frets.) As the historic 'ud did not have a two-octave compass, the
visual appeal of the fifth string corresponded to the needs of a new method.
The 4-system 'ud had no need to operate proper by means of the octave. Its repertory
was done on a tetrachord or pentachord, transposable an octave larger.
With the five-program design, the heptatonic program imposed total series of
octaves. The new lute was referred to as 'ud kamil ('perfect 'ud').
The 5-training course 'ud is the most common and most well-known model between
performers. It has also been known as the 'ud misri (Egyptian) due to the fact of the finely
created devices developed by the lute makers of Egypt, who export them
as considerably as Zanzibar. The individuals of North Africa have additional the dialectal title of
m'sharqi or mashriqi ('of the east'). The approach of tuning it, extremely versatile in
the 19th century, is now becoming stabilized. These modifications are thanks partly
to the crack-up of the Ottoman Empire, which has caused a rupture in between
Turkish and Arab cultures, and partly to the proliferation of training methods
endeavouring to impose a one variety of tuning, working from reduced to substantial: yaka =
G 'ushayran = A duka = d nawa = g kardan = c'. Nevertheless, there are variants
reintroducing tuning by 4ths. As a result what is described as 'Aleppo tuning' is made up
of: qarar busalik = E 'ushayran A duka =d nawa = g kardan = c'. This latter
composition is utilized in Turkey and Iraq. To response the useful demands of
existing-day notation, a treble clef adopted by the figure 8 is utilised. This
method has been considerably criticized by these in favour of using the bass clef. The
tuning of the Turkish lute faithfully demonstrates the Arab type but in reverse, reading through in
descending get: gerdaniye = g' neva = d' dugah = a asiran = e kaba dugah =
d (this very last, far more cell 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'. Though it is now
regarded incorrect in the Syro-Egyptian area, and representative of the previous
Ottoman college, a tuning technique in ascending get survives in Iraq. It is composed
of: yaka = d 'ushayran = e duka = a nawa = d' kurdan = g'. The compass of the
bichordal five-program 'ud is just above two octaves in Turkey, it is a few octaves
with the addition of a minimal training course. Arabian instruments can attain this by the
addition of a sixth training course.
(iv) Six-training course 'ud: Two types of six-training course 'ud exist: one has six pairs of strings,
the other five pairs with an added lower string. The very first was found by Jules
Rouanet in North Africa toward the stop of the previous century tuned inclusively it
has because disappeared apart from in Libya,
the place it is nonetheless manufactured but with diverse tuning. A similar instrument, located in Syria,
is tuned C- E-A-d-g-c'. The instrument with 5 double strings and a single low
one, however, is becoming ever more common from Istanbul to Baghdad. It has
grow to be widespread to location the extra string soon after the greatest (or chanterelle).
Its pitch is at the choice of the player no rule is laid down. The presence of the
extra string endows the instrument with a broader assortment and increased simplicity of
actively playing, permitting the performer to operate simply through three octaves. The
sixth course is also coming to be utilised as an intermittent drone, a new
(v) 7-system 'ud: 7-program versions, based mostly on a complex technique of
tuning, had been found in Egypt and Lebanon in the 19th century but have not been
observed because 1900. There is 1 exception: the Tunisian, Fawzl Sayib, is a living
master of the 7-system instrument in the 6 pairs and 1 low arrangement.
A attribute of this 'ud was that it reversed the arrangement of strings, positioning first
the large and then the lower strings on the neck from left to appropriate. According to
Mikha'il Mushaqa (1800-88), only 4 of the 7 programs have been played, the
lowest system (jaharka) and the two greatest (busalik and nihuft) currently being unused in
The School of Oud On the internet, is a system built to educate the Oud by means of Skype by the
migrant Oud grasp Ramy Adly, an Egyptian renowned Oud Participant, Ramy Adly is a
youthful learn of the oud, the functional lute-like instrument that formed Arab
classical tunes. Grounded in the primary Arab classical designs many thanks to rigorous
instruction in his indigenous Egypt, Adly has branched out continuously, incorporating jazz
idioms and embracing conversations with other musicians all around the world.
Adly has done all around the Middle East, Europe, and North The usa. He has
composed songs for theater and movie, and gathered a large number of learners
around the planet, by means of an innovative on the internet curriculum he created, called The
School of Oud Online. His delicate, sturdy enjoying has been read from the
Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and schools.
Now dependent in Washington, DC, Adly carries on to increase the choices of his
instrument. “I want to bring the oud to the same stage as the guitar culturally, the
instrument that is just about everywhere and can do everything,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has constantly been like a member of the family members. Nearly every person
in his loved ones performed the oud when he was growing up in Cairo, which includes uncles,
siblings, and his beloved grandfather, who gave him his very first introduction to the
sophisticated, evocative instrument. “I grew up listening to the oud,” he remembers.
Listening is one particular factor, and mastering the instrument yet another. Adly plunged into
his review of this age-outdated instrument at the Arab Oud Property, with Iraqi oud
virtuoso Naseer Shamma. Adly located himself working towards for a dozen hrs a working day,
and loving it. “It was a great deal like the method Paganini recognized for his college students,”
Adly describes. “You have to go through the fireplace to be qualified as a performer and
composer. I graduated as each composer and soloist.”