According to El-Farabie, the Oud dates back again to the times of Lamech a sixthgeneration
descendant of Adam. Lamech was known as the “Father of the Oud
players”. The very first visual appeal of the Oud was 3000 BC. The desecrated
skeleton proposed the kind of the Oud. Oud is identified as the very first stringed
instrument in history.
The oldest pictorial document of the Oud dates again to the Uruk time period in Southern
Mesopotamia (Iraq), in excess of 5000 a long time in the past on a cylinder seal acquired by Dr.
Dominique Collon and the seal is presently housed at the British Museum..
As the Oud becomes the quintessence of previously chordophones, it also
constitutes their purposeful synthesis. In the 9th century, Miwardi, the jurist of
Baghdad, extolled its use in treating sickness, this kind of as King David did via his
existence with his Oud. The Oud was in the palms of Egyptians and Iraqis when the
Israelites came out of Egypt. They took the Oud with them to the Holy Land. The
Oud still maintains its Egyptian and Iraqi functions and musical stylings. The Oud
was played in sacred locations such as the temples of Egypt.
In the very first hundreds of years of Arabian civilization, the oud experienced four courses (one particular
string for every program – double-strings arrived later) only, tuned in successive
fourths. These were called (for the lowest in pitch) the Bamm, then arrived
(greater to optimum 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 sometimes extra for theoretical functions,
usually to enhance the double octave.
The neck, joined to the entire body, is explained as 'unq ('neck') in classical writings
and the raqba ('neck') or zand ('wrist') today. It extends the higher portion of the
instrument by some twenty cm and is inserted into the soundbox up to the
soundhole. This size, which has been considerably reviewed, is essential in the
instrument's development, figuring out the variety and place of the intervals
and thus affecting the modes. In early 19th-century Egypt, Villoteau gave the
measurement as 22.four cm a century afterwards, also in Egypt, Kamil al-Khula'i gave it
as 19.five cm. In modern Egypt, the size of the neck might vary among eighteen
and 20.five can. It is standardized as twenty cm in Syria, but a length of 24.five cm might
be discovered on Moroccan types, he 'ud 'arbi (Arab 'ud). If the 'ud 'arbi is the
descendant of an archaic product of Andalusian provenance, the higher portion of the
instrument may possibly have become shorter. The neck hardly ever has
four. 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 other individuals of Arab
origin (mathna and mathlath). There is no circumstantial documentary evidence
to support this hypothesis.
(ii) 4-training 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 factors, the zodiac and the stars. The
strings might be tuned bass to treble or treble to bass. Bass to treble tuning is
represented by al-Kindi (ninth century), who advocated tuning the least expensive training course
(bamm or initial string) to the lowest singable pitch. Placing the ring finger on a
mathematically determined size of this string, a single moves on to deduce the
pitch of the 3rd open training course (mathna), then that of the 2nd (mathlath) and
finally the fourth (zir). (This method is also utilized to the five-system 'ud and is
nevertheless used as a tuning approach, adhering to the sequence one-4-2-three-5 or one-four-2-five-3.)
Adherents of the opposite university (Ikhwan al- Safa') tune from treble to bass. The
intention, inherited in element by the Turkish 'ud, involves pulling difficult on the zir (higher)
string, so that as it methods breaking-position it provides a obvious sound. 1 then
moves on to establish the pitch of the next program (mathna), the 3rd
(mathlath) and last but not least the fourth (bamm). These two faculties did not remain
fully independent. But whichever process is used, each stop up with tuning by
successive 4ths, each course getting tuned a 4th above the lower training course
preceding it. Musicologists, Jap as properly as Western, who try to interpret the
pitch of these notes in European conditions end 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
amongst oral and created traditions. The Moroccan technique appears to be the
solution of a prior 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
attribute of these tunings is that they juxtapose the traditional 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 means refers to a fastened pitch
normal these kinds of as tutorial and standardized tuition strategies would want for.
At the time of al-Kindi, two of the classes have been created of gut and two of silk. In the
tenth century silk turned 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 classes of the 'ud correspond with those of two upper
strings of the Chinese qin, a reality that has led to speculation about the
romantic relationship among Arab and Chinese civilizations by way of the Silk Route.
One more characteristic of the four-system 'ud is that it is bichordal, having double
programs. thirteenth-century iconography demonstrates that it was previously normal to pair the
strings at that time, probably to increase sonority but also to let the
advancement of a much more virtuoso variety of efficiency.
(iii) Five-system 'ud: The addition in Andalusia of a fifth course has been
attributed to Ziryab (eighth-9th century), despite the fact that in theoretical writings it appeared
in Iraq with al-Kindi. (The addition of this added training course has a parallel in China.)
With Ziryab the fifth system, recognized as awsat ('intermediary'), a time period perpetuated
in the 'ud of San'a' called qanbus, is placed among the second (mathna) and
third (mathlath) programs. With al-Kindi and his successors, it was to reach the
stop of the instrument and become the string named hadd ('high') or the next
zir. (In accordance to oral custom, to get an octave on the long-necked lute
baglama, a minimal string should be placed in the middle. This is accomplished when the neck
has couple of frets.) As the ancient 'ud did not have a two-octave compass, the
physical appearance of the fifth string corresponded to the requires of a new system.
The 4-course 'ud had no need to have to run correct by means of the octave. Its repertory
was done on a tetrachord or pentachord, transposable an octave increased.
With the five-system design, the heptatonic technique imposed comprehensive collection of
octaves. The new lute was known as 'ud kamil ('perfect 'ud').
The five-program 'ud is the most frequent and most well-known product amongst
performers. It has also been referred to as the 'ud misri (Egyptian) because of the finely
built devices produced by the lute makers of Egypt, who export them
as significantly as Zanzibar. The people of North Africa have added the dialectal title of
m'sharqi or mashriqi ('of the east'). The strategy of tuning it, really flexible in
the nineteenth century, is now getting to be stabilized. These modifications are due partly
to the split-up of the Ottoman Empire, which has triggered a rupture in between
Turkish and Arab cultures, and partly to the proliferation of teaching approaches
endeavouring to impose a one kind of tuning, managing from reduced to higher: yaka =
G 'ushayran = A duka = d nawa = g kardan = c'. Even so, there are variants
reintroducing tuning by 4ths. Thus what is explained as 'Aleppo tuning' consists
of: qarar busalik = E 'ushayran A duka =d nawa = g kardan = c'. This latter
structure is utilized in Turkey and Iraq. To response the sensible requirements of
present-working day notation, a treble clef followed by the figure eight is used. This
process has been significantly criticized by those in favour of utilizing 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 final, a lot more cell pitch may equally settle upon 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'. However it is now
regarded incorrect in the Syro-Egyptian region, and consultant of the old
Ottoman university, a tuning method in ascending purchase 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 above two octaves in Turkey, it is three octaves
with the addition of a lower program. Arabian instruments can attain this by the
addition of a sixth course.
(iv) 6-system 'ud: Two types of six-system 'ud exist: one particular has 6 pairs of strings,
the other five pairs with an added reduced string. The first was located by Jules
Rouanet in North Africa in direction of the end of the very last century tuned inclusively it
has considering that disappeared besides in Libya,
the place it is nevertheless manufactured but with distinct tuning. A similar instrument, identified in Syria,
is tuned C- E-A-d-g-c'. The instrument with five double strings and a single low
a single, nevertheless, is turning into more and more typical from Istanbul to Baghdad. It has
turn out to be frequent to spot the further string soon after the greatest (or chanterelle).
Its pitch is at the option of the player no rule is laid down. The presence of the
extra string endows the instrument with a broader selection and improved relieve of
actively playing, enabling the performer to operate effortlessly via a few octaves. The
sixth training course is also coming to be used as an intermittent drone, a new
(v) Seven-program 'ud: 7-course designs, based mostly on a complex program of
tuning, have been found in Egypt and Lebanon in the 19th century but have not been
noticed since 1900. There is 1 exception: the Tunisian, Fawzl Sayib, is a living
learn of the seven-course instrument in the six pairs and one low arrangement.
A characteristic of this 'ud was that it reversed the arrangement of strings, positioning initial
the high and then the lower strings on the neck from remaining to proper. According to
Mikha'il Mushaqa (1800-88), only 4 of the seven classes were played, the
least expensive training course (jaharka) and the two maximum (busalik and nihuft) getting unused in
The University of Oud Online, is a platform developed to train the Oud via Skype by the
migrant Oud grasp Ramy Adly, an Egyptian popular Oud Player, Ramy Adly is a
young learn of the oud, the flexible lute-like instrument that formed Arab
classical songs. Grounded in the main Arab classical styles thanks to rigorous
education in his native Egypt, Adly has branched out regularly, incorporating jazz
idioms and embracing discussions with other musicians about the globe.
Adly has executed around the Middle East, Europe, and North America. He has
composed audio for theater and movie, and collected a massive number of college students
all around the planet, by means of an progressive on the web curriculum he produced, known as The
University of Oud Online. His sensitive, strong playing has been heard from the
Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and faculties.
Now primarily based in Washington, DC, Adly proceeds to increase the choices of his
instrument. “I want to carry the oud to the same amount as the guitar culturally, the
instrument that is just about everywhere and can do everything,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has often been like a member of the family. Nearly everybody
in his loved ones performed the oud when he was developing up in Cairo, like 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 remembers.
Listening is one particular thing, and mastering the instrument one more. Adly plunged into
his review of this age-aged instrument at the Arab Oud House, 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 program Paganini set up for his 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.”