According to El-Farabie, the Oud dates back to the days of Lamech a sixthgeneration
descendant of Adam. Lamech was recognized as the “Father of the Oud
players”. The 1st look of the Oud was 3000 BC. The desecrated
skeleton proposed the sort of the Oud. Oud is recognized as the first stringed
instrument in history.
The oldest pictorial document of the Oud dates back to the Uruk time period in Southern
Mesopotamia (Iraq), more than 5000 several years in the past on a cylinder seal acquired by Dr.
Dominique Collon and the seal is currently housed at the British Museum..
As the Oud gets the quintessence of previously chordophones, it also
constitutes their practical synthesis. In the ninth century, Miwardi, the jurist of
Baghdad, extolled its use in dealing with illness, this kind of as King David did by means of his
existence 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 even now maintains its Egyptian and Iraqi functions and musical stylings. The Oud
was performed in sacred locations these kinds of as the temples of Egypt.
In the very first centuries of Arabian civilization, the oud had four classes (a single
string for each course – double-strings came afterwards) only, tuned in successive
fourths. These ended up known as (for the least expensive in pitch) the Bamm, then came
(larger to optimum in pitch) the Mathnā, the Mathlath and the Zīr. A fifth
string (highest in pitch, cheapest in its positioning in relation to other strings),
called ḥād ("sharp"), was sometimes included for theoretical reasons,
normally to complement the double octave.
The neck, joined to the human body, is explained as 'unq ('neck') in classical writings
and the raqba ('neck') or zand ('wrist') nowadays. 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 much reviewed, is essential in the
instrument's construction, identifying the variety and spot of the intervals
and as a result affecting 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.five cm. In contemporary Egypt, the size of the neck could differ amongst eighteen
and 20.5 can. It is standardized as twenty cm in Syria, but a size of 24.5 cm may possibly
be discovered on Moroccan types, he 'ud 'arbi (Arab 'ud). If the 'ud 'arbi is the
descendant of an archaic design of Andalusian provenance, the upper part of the
instrument may have turn out to be shorter. The neck rarely 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,
having 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 evidence
to assist this speculation.
(ii) Four-training course 'ud: The Arabian 'ud qadim (historical lute), in distinct, invited
cosmological speculation, linking the strings with the humours, the temperature,
the components, 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 most affordable program
(bamm or 1st string) to the lowest singable pitch. Placing the ring finger on a
mathematically established duration of this string, one moves on to deduce the
pitch of the 3rd open up system (mathna), then that of the second (mathlath) and
ultimately the fourth (zir). (This system is also used to the five-system 'ud and is
nonetheless employed as a tuning approach, pursuing the sequence one-four-two-3-five or one-four-two-5-three.)
Adherents of the opposite school (Ikhwan al- Safa') tune from treble to bass. The
intention, inherited in portion by the Turkish 'ud, entails pulling tough on the zir (substantial)
string, so that as it ways breaking-level it provides a very clear sound. One then
moves on to determine the pitch of the 2nd system (mathna), the third
(mathlath) and finally the fourth (bamm). These two schools did not continue being
fully different. But whichever method is used, both end up with tuning by
successive 4ths, each and every training course becoming tuned a 4th earlier mentioned the decrease system
preceding it. Musicologists, Japanese as well as Western, who attempt to interpret the
pitch of these notes in European phrases end up with different results.
Despite the fact that the four-course '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 created traditions. The Moroccan method appears to be the
item of a previous 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, may be variously tuned: a
feature of these tunings is that they juxtapose the standard 4ths with the octave
and often 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
normal these kinds of as tutorial and standardized tuition techniques would desire for.
At the time of al-Kindi, two of the classes have been manufactured of intestine and two of silk. In the
tenth century silk grew to become 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 decrease courses of the 'ud correspond with people of two higher
strings of the Chinese qin, a fact that has led to speculation about the
romantic relationship between Arab and Chinese civilizations by way of the Silk Route.
One more attribute of the 4-system 'ud is that it is bichordal, possessing double
programs. 13th-century iconography exhibits that it was currently common to pair the
strings at that time, probably to increase sonority but also to enable the
advancement of a more virtuoso kind of efficiency.
(iii) Five-system '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 added course has a parallel in China.)
With Ziryab the fifth training course, identified as awsat ('intermediary'), a term perpetuated
in the 'ud of San'a' named qanbus, is put in between the 2nd (mathna) and
3rd (mathlath) classes. With al-Kindi and his successors, it was to achieve the
end of the instrument and turn into the string called hadd ('high') or the next
zir. (In accordance to oral custom, to obtain an octave on the extended-necked lute
baglama, a minimal string ought to be placed in the center. This is carried out when the neck
has number of frets.) As the historic 'ud did not have a two-octave compass, the
look of the fifth string corresponded to the demands of a new program.
The four-program 'ud had no need to have to run appropriate through the octave. Its repertory
was done on a tetrachord or pentachord, transposable an octave larger.
With the 5-program model, the heptatonic method imposed full collection of
octaves. The new lute was named 'ud kamil ('perfect 'ud').
The five-program 'ud is the most widespread and most popular product between
performers. It has also been named the 'ud misri (Egyptian) due to the fact of the finely
constructed instruments created by the lute makers of Egypt, who export them
as far as Zanzibar. The men and women of North Africa have extra the dialectal name of
m'sharqi or mashriqi ('of the east'). The approach of tuning it, incredibly versatile in
the 19th century, is now becoming stabilized. These modifications are due partly
to the split-up of the Ottoman Empire, which has triggered a rupture among
Turkish and Arab cultures, and partly to the proliferation of educating strategies
endeavouring to impose a single sort of tuning, running from low to large: yaka =
G 'ushayran = A duka = d nawa = g kardan = c'. Nonetheless, there are variants
reintroducing tuning by 4ths. Therefore 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 sensible requirements of
present-working day notation, a treble clef followed by the figure 8 is used. This
process has been considerably criticized by people in favour of utilizing the bass clef. The
tuning of the Turkish lute faithfully displays the Arab type but in reverse, looking through in
descending order: gerdaniye = g' neva = d' dugah = a asiran = e kaba dugah =
d (this final, more mobile 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'. However it is now
considered incorrect in the Syro-Egyptian area, and representative of the aged
Ottoman faculty, a tuning approach in ascending get survives in Iraq. It is made up
of: yaka = d 'ushayran = e duka = a nawa = d' kurdan = g'. The compass of the
bichordal five-course 'ud is just in excess of two octaves in Turkey, it is three octaves
with the addition of a reduced training course. Arabian devices can obtain this by the
addition of a sixth training course.
(iv) 6-system 'ud: Two varieties of six-system 'ud exist: one particular has 6 pairs of strings,
the other five pairs with an added lower string. The first was identified by Jules
Rouanet in North Africa in direction of the finish of the previous century tuned inclusively it
has considering that disappeared besides in Libya,
exactly where it is nonetheless made but with various tuning. A similar instrument, discovered in Syria,
is tuned C- E-A-d-g-c'. The instrument with five double strings and a solitary low
a single, however, is turning into increasingly usual from Istanbul to Baghdad. It has
grow to be frequent to place the extra string soon after the highest (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 broader range and enhanced ease of
taking part in, enabling the performer to operate simply via a few octaves. The
sixth course is also coming to be utilized as an intermittent drone, a new
(v) 7-training course 'ud: 7-course types, based mostly on a sophisticated program of
tuning, were discovered 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 seven-system instrument in the six pairs and one particular reduced arrangement.
A function of this 'ud was that it reversed the arrangement of strings, putting initial
the high and then the low strings on the neck from still left to right. According to
Mikha'il Mushaqa (1800-88), only 4 of the 7 programs were played, the
most affordable course (jaharka) and the two maximum (busalik and nihuft) being unused in
The College of Oud On the web, is a system created to educate the Oud via Skype by the
migrant Oud grasp Ramy Adly, an Egyptian popular Oud Participant, Ramy Adly is a
younger grasp of the oud, the versatile lute-like instrument that formed Arab
classical audio. Grounded in the major Arab classical designs thanks to rigorous
education in his indigenous Egypt, Adly has branched out continuously, incorporating jazz
idioms and embracing conversations with other musicians around the entire world.
Adly has executed about the Center East, Europe, and North The usa. He has
composed tunes for theater and movie, and gathered a large number of college students
about the entire world, by means of an modern online curriculum he designed, known as The
College of Oud On the internet. His delicate, sturdy actively playing has been heard from the
Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and educational institutions.
Now primarily based in Washington, DC, Adly continues to broaden the opportunities of his
instrument. “I want to deliver the oud to the exact same stage as the guitar culturally, the
instrument that’s all over the place and can do every thing,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has always been like a member of the household. Virtually every person
in his family performed the oud when he was developing up in Cairo, such as uncles,
siblings, and his beloved grandfather, who gave him his initial introduction to the
complicated, evocative instrument. “I grew up listening to the oud,” he recalls.
Listening is a single factor, and mastering the instrument one more. Adly plunged into
his study of this age-old instrument at the Arab Oud Property, with Iraqi oud
virtuoso Naseer Shamma. Adly located himself practising for a dozen hrs a working day,
and loving it. “It was a lot like the program Paganini established for his learners,”
Adly clarifies. “You have to go through the fireplace to be trained as a performer and
composer. I graduated as each composer and soloist.”