According to El-Farabie, the Oud dates back to the days of Lamech a sixthgeneration
descendant of Adam. Lamech was identified as the “Father of the Oud
players”. The very first appearance of the Oud was 3000 BC. The desecrated
skeleton recommended the kind of the Oud. Oud is acknowledged as the 1st stringed
instrument in history.
The oldest pictorial record of the Oud dates back again to the Uruk time period in Southern
Mesopotamia (Iraq), over 5000 a long time back on a cylinder seal obtained by Dr.
Dominique Collon and the seal is presently housed at the British Museum..
As the Oud turns into the quintessence of previously chordophones, it also
constitutes their purposeful synthesis. In the 9th century, Miwardi, the jurist of
Baghdad, extolled its use in managing disease, this sort of as King David did through his
lifestyle with his Oud. The Oud was in the arms of Egyptians and Iraqis when the
Israelites arrived out of Egypt. They took the Oud with them to the Holy Land. The
Oud still maintains its Egyptian and Iraqi features and musical stylings. The Oud
was played in sacred spots this sort of as the temples of Egypt.
In the first centuries of Arabian civilization, the oud had 4 courses (one
string for every training course – double-strings arrived afterwards) only, tuned in successive
fourths. These ended up known as (for the lowest in pitch) the Bamm, then arrived
(higher to highest 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 at times included for theoretical functions,
normally to complement the double octave.
The neck, joined to the physique, is described as 'unq ('neck') in classical writings
and the raqba ('neck') or zand ('wrist') nowadays. It extends the upper element of the
instrument by some twenty cm and is inserted into the soundbox up to the
soundhole. This duration, which has been much discussed, is important in the
instrument's building, deciding the amount and location of the intervals
and therefore influencing the modes. In early nineteenth-century Egypt, Villoteau gave the
measurement as 22.4 cm a century later on, also in Egypt, Kamil al-Khula'i gave it
as 19.5 cm. In modern day Egypt, the length of the neck may possibly range among 18
and 20.five can. It is standardized as twenty cm in Syria, but a size of 24.5 cm may
be discovered on Moroccan designs, 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 may have become shorter. The neck hardly ever has
4. Versions 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 phrases (bamm and zir) and two others of Arab
origin (mathna and mathlath). There is no circumstantial documentary evidence
to assist this hypothesis.
(ii) 4-program 'ud: The Arabian 'ud qadim (historical lute), in particular, invited
cosmological speculation, linking the strings with the humours, the temperature,
the aspects, the seasons, the cardinal factors, 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 training course
(bamm or initial string) to the cheapest singable pitch. Inserting the ring finger on a
mathematically decided size of this string, one particular moves on to deduce the
pitch of the 3rd open up course (mathna), then that of the 2nd (mathlath) and
finally the fourth (zir). (This program is also utilized to the five-course 'ud and is
nonetheless used as a tuning technique, following the sequence one-4-two-three-five or 1-4-2-5-3.)
Adherents of the opposite school (Ikhwan al- Safa') tune from treble to bass. The
intention, inherited in part by the Turkish 'ud, involves pulling hard on the zir (large)
string, so that as it techniques breaking-level it gives a very clear sound. One particular then
moves on to establish the pitch of the next program (mathna), the 3rd
(mathlath) and finally the fourth (bamm). These two schools did not continue to be
fully independent. But whichever treatment is used, each end up with tuning by
successive 4ths, each system getting tuned a 4th above the lower course
previous it. Musicologists, Jap as nicely as Western, who try to interpret the
pitch of these notes in European phrases end up with distinct final results.
Despite the fact that the four-system 'ud survives in Morocco, as the 'ud 'arbi, the tuning
does not conform to the pitches inferred from classical treatises: a conflict
in between oral and prepared traditions. The Moroccan approach would seem to be the
item of a preceding 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, could be variously tuned: a
attribute of these tunings is that they juxtapose the conventional 4ths with the octave
and occasionally 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 set pitch
regular such as educational and standardized tuition strategies would would like for.
At the time of al-Kindi, two of the programs ended up created of intestine and two of silk. In the
10th century silk grew to become predominant and some texts give the composition of
the twisted threads: bamm = sixty four threads, mathlath = forty eight, mathna = 36, zir = 27.
The figures for the reduced courses of the 'ud correspond with individuals of two upper
strings of the Chinese qin, a truth that has led to speculation about the
connection amongst Arab and Chinese civilizations by way of the Silk Route.
Another characteristic of the 4-course 'ud is that it is bichordal, possessing double
programs. 13th-century iconography shows that it was already normal to pair the
strings at that time, almost certainly to boost sonority but also to permit the
advancement of a far more virtuoso type of efficiency.
(iii) 5-course 'ud: The addition in Andalusia of a fifth course has been
attributed to Ziryab (eighth-ninth century), even though in theoretical writings it appeared
in Iraq with al-Kindi. (The addition of this extra training course has a parallel in China.)
With Ziryab the fifth course, acknowledged as awsat ('intermediary'), a phrase perpetuated
in the 'ud of San'a' called qanbus, is put in between the next (mathna) and
3rd (mathlath) courses. With al-Kindi and his successors, it was to attain the
end of the instrument and grow to be the string called hadd ('high') or the next
zir. (According to oral custom, to acquire an octave on the long-necked lute
baglama, a lower string should be positioned in the middle. This is carried out when the neck
has few frets.) As the historical 'ud did not have a two-octave compass, the
visual appeal of the fifth string corresponded to the calls for of a new technique.
The four-program 'ud had no want to operate right by way of the octave. Its repertory
was done on a tetrachord or pentachord, transposable an octave larger.
With the 5-program design, the heptatonic method imposed total sequence of
octaves. The new lute was named 'ud kamil ('perfect 'ud').
The 5-program 'ud is the most frequent and most common design amongst
performers. It has also been called the 'ud misri (Egyptian) because of the finely
constructed devices created by the lute makers of Egypt, who export them
as much as Zanzibar. The people of North Africa have added the dialectal identify of
m'sharqi or mashriqi ('of the east'). The method of tuning it, incredibly versatile in
the nineteenth century, is now turning out to be stabilized. These modifications are owing partly
to the split-up of the Ottoman Empire, which has brought on a rupture between
Turkish and Arab cultures, and partly to the proliferation of educating methods
endeavouring to impose a solitary sort of tuning, operating from minimal to substantial: yaka =
G 'ushayran = A duka = d nawa = g kardan = c'. However, there are variants
reintroducing tuning by 4ths. Hence what is explained as 'Aleppo tuning' is made up
of: qarar busalik = E 'ushayran A duka =d nawa = g kardan = c'. This latter
composition is employed in Turkey and Iraq. To answer the practical specifications of
current-day notation, a treble clef adopted by the determine eight is utilised. This
method has been a lot criticized by individuals in favour of employing the bass clef. The
tuning of the Turkish lute faithfully reflects the Arab kind but in reverse, reading in
descending get: gerdaniye = g' neva = d' dugah = a asiran = e kaba dugah =
d (this final, much more mobile pitch might similarly settle on G. This outdated 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'. Even though it is now
considered incorrect in the Syro-Egyptian location, and representative of the outdated
Ottoman faculty, a tuning approach in ascending order survives in Iraq. It is made up
of: yaka = d 'ushayran = e duka = a nawa = d' kurdan = g'. The compass of the
bichordal 5-system 'ud is just in excess of two octaves in Turkey, it is 3 octaves
with the addition of a minimal system. Arabian devices can obtain this by the
addition of a sixth system.
(iv) 6-course 'ud: Two kinds of 6-system 'ud exist: a single has six pairs of strings,
the other 5 pairs with an additional low string. The 1st was identified by Jules
Rouanet in North Africa towards the end of the last century tuned inclusively it
has given that disappeared apart from in Libya,
the place it is nevertheless created 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 single low
one particular, nevertheless, is turning out to be ever more usual from Istanbul to Baghdad. It has
turn into typical to spot the added string right after the highest (or chanterelle).
Its pitch is at the decision of the player no rule is laid down. The existence of the
further string endows the instrument with a wider assortment and increased relieve of
taking part in, making it possible for the performer to run easily by means of three octaves. The
sixth course is also coming to be employed as an intermittent drone, a new
(v) Seven-program 'ud: Seven-training course types, primarily based on a complex technique of
tuning, had been located in Egypt and Lebanon in the nineteenth century but have not been
noticed because 1900. There is a single exception: the Tunisian, Fawzl Sayib, is a residing
master of the seven-program instrument in the six pairs and 1 low arrangement.
A function of this 'ud was that it reversed the arrangement of strings, inserting initial
the high and then the reduced strings on the neck from left to appropriate. According to
Mikha'il Mushaqa (1800-88), only 4 of the seven classes were played, the
lowest course (jaharka) and the two optimum (busalik and nihuft) getting unused in
The Faculty of Oud Online, is a platform developed to educate the Oud by way of Skype by the
migrant Oud master Ramy Adly, an Egyptian popular Oud Player, Ramy Adly is a
younger grasp of the oud, the adaptable lute-like instrument that shaped Arab
classical tunes. Grounded in the principal Arab classical styles thanks to arduous
instruction in his indigenous Egypt, Adly has branched out frequently, incorporating jazz
idioms and embracing discussions with other musicians close to the globe.
Adly has performed all around the Middle East, Europe, and North The usa. He has
composed tunes for theater and movie, and gathered a big variety of learners
around the globe, by means of an revolutionary on the internet curriculum he created, referred to as The
School of Oud On the web. His sensitive, sturdy actively playing has been heard from the
Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and faculties.
Now dependent in Washington, DC, Adly carries on to broaden the prospects of his
instrument. “I want to bring the oud to the exact same stage as the guitar culturally, the
instrument that’s all over the place and can do everything,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has usually been like a member of the household. Almost every person
in his household performed the oud when he was developing up in Cairo, which includes uncles,
siblings, and his beloved grandfather, who gave him his initial introduction to the
sophisticated, evocative instrument. “I grew up listening to the oud,” he remembers.
Listening is 1 factor, and mastering the instrument an additional. Adly plunged into
his study of this age-outdated instrument at the Arab Oud Property, with Iraqi oud
virtuoso Naseer Shamma. Adly discovered himself training for a dozen several hours a day,
and loving it. “It was a great deal like the system Paganini set up for his learners,”
Adly clarifies. “You have to go through the fireplace to be educated as a performer and
composer. I graduated as each composer and soloist.”