According to El-Farabie, the Oud dates back to the days of Lamech a sixthgeneration
descendant of Adam. Lamech was known as the “Father of the Oud
players”. The 1st appearance of the Oud was 3000 BC. The desecrated
skeleton advised the sort of the Oud. Oud is acknowledged as the initial stringed
instrument in background.
The oldest pictorial document of the Oud dates back again to the Uruk interval in Southern
Mesopotamia (Iraq), over 5000 many years ago on a cylinder seal acquired by Dr.
Dominique Collon and the seal is currently housed at the British Museum..
As the Oud becomes the quintessence of previously chordophones, it also
constitutes their useful synthesis. In the ninth century, Miwardi, the jurist of
Baghdad, extolled its use in treating ailment, this kind of as King David did through his
lifestyle with his Oud. The Oud was in the fingers of Egyptians and Iraqis when the
Israelites arrived out of Egypt. They took the Oud with them to the Holy Land. The
Oud even now maintains its Egyptian and Iraqi characteristics and musical stylings. The Oud
was played in sacred spots this kind of as the temples of Egypt.
In the 1st generations of Arabian civilization, the oud had 4 classes (one particular
string for each training course – double-strings came afterwards) only, tuned in successive
fourths. These have been referred to as (for the cheapest in pitch) the Bamm, then arrived
(greater to maximum in pitch) the Mathnā, the Mathlath and the Zīr. A fifth
string (highest in pitch, lowest in its positioning in relation to other strings),
called ḥād ("sharp"), was sometimes included for theoretical reasons,
generally to complement the double octave.
The neck, joined to the body, is explained as 'unq ('neck') in classical writings
and the raqba ('neck') or zand ('wrist') nowadays. It extends the upper portion of the
instrument by some twenty cm and is inserted into the soundbox up to the
soundhole. This size, which has been much talked about, is critical in the
instrument's construction, figuring out the number and area of the intervals
and therefore influencing the modes. In early nineteenth-century Egypt, Villoteau gave the
measurement as 22.four cm a century later, also in Egypt, Kamil al-Khula'i gave it
as 19.5 cm. In up to date Egypt, the size of the neck might range among eighteen
and 20.five can. It is standardized as 20 cm in Syria, but a size of 24.five cm may
be identified on Moroccan designs, 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 could have grow to be shorter. The neck rarely has
four. 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,
possessing 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 other people of Arab
origin (mathna and mathlath). There is no circumstantial documentary evidence
to support this speculation.
(ii) Four-course 'ud: The Arabian 'ud qadim (historical lute), in distinct, 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 system
(bamm or first string) to the lowest singable pitch. Inserting the ring finger on a
mathematically determined length of this string, a single moves on to deduce the
pitch of the 3rd open course (mathna), then that of the next (mathlath) and
finally the fourth (zir). (This system is also applied to the five-training course 'ud and is
nevertheless employed as a tuning approach, subsequent the sequence one-four-two-3-five or one-four-two-five-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 hard on the zir (high)
string, so that as it techniques breaking-stage it presents a obvious audio. A single then
moves on to determine the pitch of the second course (mathna), the third
(mathlath) and finally the fourth (bamm). These two schools did not continue being
totally independent. But whichever method is used, equally stop up with tuning by
successive 4ths, every single system becoming tuned a 4th previously mentioned the lower training course
preceding it. Musicologists, Japanese as nicely as Western, who try to interpret the
pitch of these notes in European terms conclude up with different 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 composed traditions. The Moroccan approach looks to be the
product of a preceding technique, 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
characteristic of these tunings is that they juxtapose the conventional 4ths with the octave
and sometimes 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 set pitch
regular this sort of as tutorial and standardized tuition strategies would would like for.
At the time of al-Kindi, two of the programs ended up made 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 = 48, mathna = 36, zir = 27.
The figures for the reduce courses of the 'ud correspond with individuals of two higher
strings of the Chinese qin, a truth that has led to speculation about the
romantic relationship in between Arab and Chinese civilizations by way of the Silk Route.
One more characteristic of the 4-training course 'ud is that it is bichordal, having double
courses. thirteenth-century iconography shows that it was already normal to pair the
strings at that time, probably to increase sonority but also to let the
growth of a far more virtuoso type of functionality.
(iii) Five-course 'ud: The addition in Andalusia of a fifth training course has been
attributed to Ziryab (eighth-ninth century), although in theoretical writings it appeared
in Iraq with al-Kindi. (The addition of this further course has a parallel in China.)
With Ziryab the fifth course, acknowledged as awsat ('intermediary'), a term perpetuated
in the 'ud of San'a' referred to as qanbus, is put in between the next (mathna) and
third (mathlath) classes. With al-Kindi and his successors, it was to achieve the
finish of the instrument and grow to be the string named hadd ('high') or the second
zir. (According to oral tradition, to receive an octave on the prolonged-necked lute
baglama, a minimal string ought to be positioned in the center. This is accomplished when the neck
has few frets.) As the ancient 'ud did not have a two-octave compass, the
look of the fifth string corresponded to the needs of a new technique.
The four-course 'ud experienced no need to have to operate correct through the octave. Its repertory
was executed on a tetrachord or pentachord, transposable an octave higher.
With the five-course model, the heptatonic technique imposed total series of
octaves. The new lute was named 'ud kamil ('perfect 'ud').
The 5-course 'ud is the most frequent and most popular product between
performers. It has also been known as the 'ud misri (Egyptian) because of the finely
created instruments made by the lute makers of Egypt, who export them
as far as Zanzibar. The men and women of North Africa have included the dialectal identify of
m'sharqi or mashriqi ('of the east'). The strategy of tuning it, extremely flexible in
the nineteenth century, is now turning out to be stabilized. These modifications are because of partly
to the crack-up of the Ottoman Empire, which has brought on a rupture between
Turkish and Arab cultures, and partly to the proliferation of instructing methods
endeavouring to impose a single sort of tuning, working from low to higher: yaka =
G 'ushayran = A duka = d nawa = g kardan = c'. Nevertheless, there are variants
reintroducing tuning by 4ths. Therefore what is explained as 'Aleppo tuning' is composed
of: qarar busalik = E 'ushayran A duka =d nawa = g kardan = c'. This latter
composition is used in Turkey and Iraq. To answer the practical requirements of
current-day notation, a treble clef followed by the determine 8 is utilised. This
process has been a lot criticized by these in favour of utilizing the bass clef. The
tuning of the Turkish lute faithfully demonstrates the Arab type but in reverse, looking through in
descending order: gerdaniye = g' neva = d' dugah = a asiran = e kaba dugah =
d (this previous, far more cell pitch might similarly settle on G. This outdated tuning
represents 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
deemed incorrect in the Syro-Egyptian area, and consultant of the aged
Ottoman school, a tuning strategy 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 5-system 'ud is just more than two octaves in Turkey, it is a few octaves
with the addition of a lower program. Arabian instruments can accomplish this by the
addition of a sixth training course.
(iv) 6-course 'ud: Two kinds of six-program 'ud exist: one particular has 6 pairs of strings,
the other 5 pairs with an added minimal string. The first was located by Jules
Rouanet in North Africa towards the conclude of the previous century tuned inclusively it
has given that disappeared besides in Libya,
exactly where it is nevertheless made but with distinct tuning. A related instrument, found in Syria,
is tuned C- E-A-d-g-c'. The instrument with 5 double strings and a one minimal
one, even so, is turning into ever more typical from Istanbul to Baghdad. It has
turn into common to spot the further string right after the greatest (or chanterelle).
Its pitch is at the selection of the participant no rule is laid down. The presence of the
added string endows the instrument with a wider variety and improved ease of
taking part in, making it possible for the performer to run very easily through three octaves. The
sixth training course is also coming to be utilised as an intermittent drone, a new
(v) 7-training course 'ud: Seven-training course designs, based mostly on a complicated method of
tuning, were found in Egypt and Lebanon in the 19th century but have not been
observed given that 1900. There is a single exception: the Tunisian, Fawzl Sayib, is a dwelling
grasp of the seven-course instrument in the six pairs and a single minimal arrangement.
A attribute of this 'ud was that it reversed the arrangement of strings, inserting very first
the substantial and then the minimal strings on the neck from still left to appropriate. In accordance to
Mikha'il Mushaqa (1800-88), only four of the seven programs had been played, the
cheapest program (jaharka) and the two greatest (busalik and nihuft) becoming unused in
The College of Oud On the internet, is a platform built to instruct the Oud by way of Skype by the
migrant Oud learn Ramy Adly, an Egyptian well-known Oud Player, Ramy Adly is a
younger master of the oud, the flexible lute-like instrument that shaped Arab
classical audio. Grounded in the major Arab classical styles many thanks to demanding
training in his native Egypt, Adly has branched out regularly, incorporating jazz
idioms and embracing discussions with other musicians all around the entire world.
Adly has carried out close to the Center East, Europe, and North The usa. He has
composed audio for theater and movie, and gathered a big number of college students
about the entire world, by means of an modern online curriculum he designed, known as The
School of Oud On-line. His delicate, sturdy taking part in has been heard from the
Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and faculties.
Now dependent in Washington, DC, Adly carries on to increase the opportunities of his
instrument. “I want to provide the oud to the identical degree as the guitar culturally, the
instrument that’s just about everywhere and can do every thing,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has constantly been like a member of the loved ones. Virtually every person
in his family members played the oud when he was growing up in Cairo, like 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 recollects.
Listening is a single point, and mastering the instrument one more. Adly plunged into
his examine of this age-aged instrument at the Arab Oud Property, with Iraqi oud
virtuoso Naseer Shamma. Adly found himself working towards for a dozen hours a day,
and loving it. “It was a good deal like the system Paganini set up for his college students,”
Adly points out. “You have to go by way of the hearth to be trained as a performer and
composer. I graduated as equally composer and soloist.”