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 first look of the Oud was 3000 BC. The desecrated
skeleton recommended the form of the Oud. Oud is acknowledged as the initial stringed
instrument in background.
The oldest pictorial record of the Oud dates again to the Uruk period of time in Southern
Mesopotamia (Iraq), more than 5000 many years back on a cylinder seal acquired by Dr.
Dominique Collon and the seal is at present housed at the British Museum..
As the Oud turns into the quintessence of before chordophones, it also
constitutes their functional synthesis. In the ninth century, Miwardi, the jurist of
Baghdad, extolled its use in managing illness, these kinds of as King David did by way of his
life with his Oud. The Oud was in the hands 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 characteristics and musical stylings. The Oud
was played in sacred areas this kind of as the temples of Egypt.
In the very first generations of Arabian civilization, the oud had 4 programs (1
string for every training course – double-strings arrived afterwards) only, tuned in successive
fourths. These ended up called (for the cheapest in pitch) the Bamm, then arrived
(increased to greatest in pitch) the Mathnā, the Mathlath and the Zīr. A fifth
string (maximum in pitch, lowest in its positioning in relation to other strings),
referred to as ḥād ("sharp"), was often extra for theoretical reasons,
usually to enhance the double octave.
The neck, joined to the entire body, is described as 'unq ('neck') in classical writings
and the raqba ('neck') or zand ('wrist') right now. It extends the upper 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 crucial in the
instrument's design, determining the variety and spot of the intervals
and hence impacting the modes. In early 19th-century Egypt, Villoteau gave the
measurement as 22.4 cm a century later, also in Egypt, Kamil al-Khula'i gave it
as 19.five cm. In modern Egypt, the size of the neck may possibly fluctuate amongst 18
and 20.5 can. It is standardized as 20 cm in Syria, but a duration of 24.5 cm may possibly
be located on Moroccan models, he 'ud 'arbi (Arab 'ud). If the 'ud 'arbi is the
descendant of an archaic model of Andalusian provenance, the upper portion of the
instrument may have grow to be shorter. The neck seldom has
4. Designs 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,
getting 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 others of Arab
origin (mathna and mathlath). There is no circumstantial documentary proof
to support this hypothesis.
(ii) 4-program 'ud: The Arabian 'ud qadim (historic lute), in certain, invited
cosmological speculation, linking the strings with the humours, the temperature,
the factors, the seasons, the cardinal details, 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 (9th century), who advocated tuning the cheapest program
(bamm or 1st string) to the least expensive singable pitch. Inserting the ring finger on a
mathematically identified size of this string, a single moves on to deduce the
pitch of the 3rd open up program (mathna), then that of the next (mathlath) and
last but not least the fourth (zir). (This program is also used to the five-system 'ud and is
nonetheless utilized as a tuning approach, following the sequence 1-four-2-3-5 or 1-4-two-5-3.)
Adherents of the reverse university (Ikhwan al- Safa') tune from treble to bass. The
intention, inherited in portion by the Turkish 'ud, entails pulling difficult on the zir (high)
string, so that as it techniques breaking-point it gives a obvious sound. A single then
moves on to decide the pitch of the second program (mathna), the 3rd
(mathlath) and ultimately the fourth (bamm). These two colleges did not continue being
fully separate. But whichever method is utilized, equally end up with tuning by
successive 4ths, each and every course becoming tuned a 4th over the lower program
preceding it. Musicologists, Jap as nicely as Western, who consider to interpret the
pitch of these notes in European terms conclude up with various outcomes.
Even 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
amongst oral and written traditions. The Moroccan strategy 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
characteristic of these tunings is that they juxtapose the standard 4ths with the octave
and sometimes the 5th 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 mounted pitch
common such as educational and standardized tuition techniques would wish for.
At the time of al-Kindi, two of the programs ended up manufactured of gut and two of silk. In the
10th century silk turned predominant and some texts give the composition of
the twisted threads: bamm = 64 threads, mathlath = forty eight, mathna = 36, zir = 27.
The figures for the lower classes of the 'ud correspond with people of two higher
strings of the Chinese qin, a simple fact that has led to speculation about the
partnership in between Arab and Chinese civilizations by way of the Silk Route.
An additional characteristic of the 4-course 'ud is that it is bichordal, having double
programs. 13th-century iconography exhibits that it was previously normal to pair the
strings at that time, probably to increase sonority but also to enable the
improvement of a much more virtuoso type of overall performance.
(iii) Five-system 'ud: The addition in Andalusia of a fifth program has been
attributed to Ziryab (eighth-ninth century), though in theoretical writings it appeared
in Iraq with al-Kindi. (The addition of this additional program has a parallel in China.)
With Ziryab the fifth course, known as awsat ('intermediary'), a phrase perpetuated
in the 'ud of San'a' called qanbus, is positioned amongst the second (mathna) and
third (mathlath) programs. With al-Kindi and his successors, it was to reach the
stop of the instrument and grow to be the string referred to as hadd ('high') or the 2nd
zir. (According to oral tradition, to receive an octave on the prolonged-necked lute
baglama, a low string need to be positioned in the center. This is completed when the neck
has couple of frets.) As the historic 'ud did not have a two-octave compass, the
visual appeal of the fifth string corresponded to the calls for of a new program.
The four-system 'ud had no want to run correct by way of the octave. Its repertory
was done on a tetrachord or pentachord, transposable an octave greater.
With the five-course model, the heptatonic program imposed comprehensive series of
octaves. The new lute was named 'ud kamil ('perfect 'ud').
The 5-program 'ud is the most frequent and most well-liked model amid
performers. It has also been known as the 'ud misri (Egyptian) because of the finely
constructed devices developed by the lute makers of Egypt, who export them
as far as Zanzibar. The people of North Africa have additional the dialectal identify of
m'sharqi or mashriqi ('of the east'). The method of tuning it, very flexible in
the nineteenth century, is now becoming stabilized. These modifications are thanks partly
to the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, which has caused a rupture between
Turkish and Arab cultures, and partly to the proliferation of teaching approaches
endeavouring to impose a one variety of tuning, managing from low to high: yaka =
G 'ushayran = A duka = d nawa = g kardan = c'. Even so, there are variants
reintroducing tuning by 4ths. As a result what is described as 'Aleppo tuning' consists
of: qarar busalik = E 'ushayran A duka =d nawa = g kardan = c'. This latter
structure is utilised in Turkey and Iraq. To answer the useful needs of
current-day notation, a treble clef adopted by the figure 8 is utilized. This
procedure has been significantly criticized by these in favour of making use of the bass clef. The
tuning of the Turkish lute faithfully demonstrates the Arab type but in reverse, studying in
descending order: gerdaniye = g' neva = d' dugah = a asiran = e kaba dugah =
d (this final, more cellular pitch may possibly similarly settle on G. This out-of-date tuning
represents the 'old school' (eski akort), and has now been changed by an
ascending tuning - the 'new school' (yeni akort): A-B-e-a-d'-g'. Even though it is now
regarded as incorrect in the Syro-Egyptian location, and agent of the old
Ottoman university, a tuning strategy 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-program 'ud is just more than two octaves in Turkey, it is three octaves
with the addition of a lower course. Arabian instruments can attain this by the
addition of a sixth training course.
(iv) Six-system 'ud: Two varieties of six-course 'ud exist: one has 6 pairs of strings,
the other 5 pairs with an additional low string. The initial was identified by Jules
Rouanet in North Africa in direction of the stop of the final century tuned inclusively it
has because disappeared besides in Libya,
where it is nevertheless manufactured but with different tuning. A comparable instrument, identified in Syria,
is tuned C- E-A-d-g-c'. The instrument with 5 double strings and a solitary low
one particular, even so, is turning into ever more usual from Istanbul to Baghdad. It has
turn out to be widespread to spot the additional string soon after the maximum (or chanterelle).
Its pitch is at the option of the player no rule is laid down. The existence of the
extra string endows the instrument with a broader assortment and elevated simplicity of
actively playing, making it possible for the performer to operate simply via three octaves. The
sixth system is also coming to be employed as an intermittent drone, a new
(v) Seven-course 'ud: Seven-training course designs, dependent on a complicated technique of
tuning, had been located in Egypt and Lebanon in the nineteenth century but have not been
observed since 1900. There is one particular exception: the Tunisian, Fawzl Sayib, is a dwelling
master of the 7-system instrument in the 6 pairs and one minimal arrangement.
A characteristic of this 'ud was that it reversed the arrangement of strings, placing 1st
the large and then the minimal strings on the neck from left to correct. According to
Mikha'il Mushaqa (1800-88), only four of the seven courses had been performed, the
cheapest training course (jaharka) and the two highest (busalik and nihuft) getting unused in
The School of Oud Online, is a platform created to instruct the Oud by way of Skype by the
migrant Oud grasp Ramy Adly, an Egyptian famous Oud Player, Ramy Adly is a
youthful grasp of the oud, the adaptable lute-like instrument that shaped Arab
classical tunes. Grounded in the major Arab classical styles thanks to rigorous
instruction in his indigenous Egypt, Adly has branched out frequently, incorporating jazz
idioms and embracing discussions with other musicians close to the entire world.
Adly has performed all around the Middle East, Europe, and North The united states. He has
composed audio for theater and movie, and gathered a big amount of pupils
about the entire world, by means of an modern online curriculum he designed, named The
Faculty of Oud On the internet. His delicate, robust actively playing has been heard from the
Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and faculties.
Now based in Washington, DC, Adly carries on to broaden the prospects of his
instrument. “I want to provide the oud to the very same level as the guitar culturally, the
instrument which is almost everywhere and can do almost everything,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has constantly been like a member of the family members. Almost everybody
in his loved ones played the oud when he was growing up in Cairo, including uncles,
siblings, and his beloved grandfather, who gave him his first introduction to the
complicated, evocative instrument. “I grew up listening to the oud,” he recalls.
Listening is one factor, and mastering the instrument yet another. Adly plunged into
his study of this age-aged instrument at the Arab Oud Property, with Iraqi oud
virtuoso Naseer Shamma. Adly found himself training for a dozen hours a working day,
and loving it. “It was a lot like the system Paganini proven for his pupils,”
Adly points out. “You have to go by way of the hearth to be qualified as a performer and
composer. I graduated as each composer and soloist.”