In accordance to El-Farabie, the Oud dates again to the times of Lamech a sixthgeneration
descendant of Adam. Lamech was acknowledged as the “Father of the Oud
players”. The very first visual appeal of the Oud was 3000 BC. The desecrated
skeleton advised the sort of the Oud. Oud is recognized as the 1st stringed
instrument in background.
The oldest pictorial report of the Oud dates back to the Uruk period of time in Southern
Mesopotamia (Iraq), in excess of 5000 a long time ago on a cylinder seal acquired by Dr.
Dominique Collon and the seal is at present housed at the British Museum..
As the Oud gets to be the quintessence of earlier chordophones, it also
constitutes their functional synthesis. In the 9th century, Miwardi, the jurist of
Baghdad, extolled its use in dealing with disease, these kinds of as King David did through his
daily life 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 functions and musical stylings. The Oud
was played in sacred places this kind of as the temples of Egypt.
In the initial generations of Arabian civilization, the oud had 4 courses (one particular
string for each course – double-strings arrived afterwards) only, tuned in successive
fourths. These had been named (for the most affordable in pitch) the Bamm, then arrived
(greater to highest in pitch) the Mathnā, the Mathlath and the Zīr. A fifth
string (highest in pitch, lowest in its positioning in relation to other strings),
referred to as ḥād ("sharp"), was occasionally included for theoretical purposes,
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 upper component of the
instrument by some 20 cm and is inserted into the soundbox up to the
soundhole. This duration, which has been significantly reviewed, is crucial in the
instrument's construction, determining the quantity and spot of the intervals
and as a result influencing the modes. In early 19th-century Egypt, Villoteau gave the
measurement as 22.4 cm a century afterwards, also in Egypt, Kamil al-Khula'i gave it
as 19.five cm. In modern Egypt, the duration of the neck could fluctuate among 18
and twenty.5 can. It is standardized as 20 cm in Syria, but a duration of 24.5 cm may possibly
be discovered on Moroccan designs, he 'ud 'arbi (Arab 'ud). If the 'ud 'arbi is the
descendant of an archaic product of Andalusian provenance, the upper part of the
instrument might have turn into shorter. The neck not often 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 terms (bamm and zir) and two other folks of Arab
origin (mathna and mathlath). There is no circumstantial documentary proof
to assist this speculation.
(ii) 4-course 'ud: The Arabian 'ud qadim (ancient lute), in particular, invited
cosmological speculation, linking the strings with the humours, the temperature,
the elements, 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 (9th century), who advocated tuning the least expensive program
(bamm or very first string) to the most affordable singable pitch. Putting the ring finger on a
mathematically identified size of this string, one particular moves on to deduce the
pitch of the 3rd open system (mathna), then that of the 2nd (mathlath) and
lastly the fourth (zir). (This technique is also utilized to the 5-system 'ud and is
even now employed as a tuning approach, adhering to the sequence one-four-two-three-five or one-four-2-five-3.)
Adherents of the opposite college (Ikhwan al- Safa') tune from treble to bass. The
intention, inherited in element by the Turkish 'ud, entails pulling challenging on the zir (higher)
string, so that as it approaches breaking-stage it offers a clear seem. One particular then
moves on to establish the pitch of the next course (mathna), the third
(mathlath) and finally the fourth (bamm). These two schools did not continue to be
completely separate. But whichever treatment is utilised, equally stop up with tuning by
successive 4ths, every system becoming tuned a 4th earlier mentioned the reduce training course
preceding it. Musicologists, Japanese as properly as Western, who attempt to interpret the
pitch of these notes in European phrases finish up with various final results.
Although the 4-course 'ud survives in Morocco, as the 'ud 'arbi, the tuning
does not conform to the pitches inferred from classical treatises: a conflict
among oral and composed traditions. The Moroccan method looks to be the
item 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
function of these tunings is that they juxtapose the traditional 4ths with the octave
and at times 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 fixed pitch
normal these kinds of as tutorial and standardized tuition strategies would want for.
At the time of al-Kindi, two of the classes ended up created 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 = sixty four 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 reality that has led to speculation about the
relationship among Arab and Chinese civilizations by way of the Silk Route.
One more characteristic of the four-course 'ud is that it is bichordal, getting double
courses. 13th-century iconography shows that it was currently typical to pair the
strings at that time, possibly to enhance sonority but also to enable the
growth of a far more virtuoso kind of performance.
(iii) 5-training course 'ud: The addition in Andalusia of a fifth training 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 training course, identified as awsat ('intermediary'), a phrase perpetuated
in the 'ud of San'a' known as qanbus, is placed between the second (mathna) and
3rd (mathlath) classes. With al-Kindi and his successors, it was to reach the
finish of the instrument and turn out to be the string called hadd ('high') or the 2nd
zir. (In accordance to oral tradition, to acquire an octave on the lengthy-necked lute
baglama, a low string need to be positioned in the middle. This is completed when the neck
has number of frets.) As the ancient 'ud did not have a two-octave compass, the
look of the fifth string corresponded to the calls for of a new system.
The four-system 'ud had no require to operate right through the octave. Its repertory
was performed on a tetrachord or pentachord, transposable an octave higher.
With the 5-training course model, the heptatonic technique imposed comprehensive sequence of
octaves. The new lute was referred to as 'ud kamil ('perfect 'ud').
The five-training course 'ud is the most typical and most well-liked model between
performers. It has also been named the 'ud misri (Egyptian) since of the finely
constructed devices produced by the lute makers of Egypt, who export them
as far as Zanzibar. The individuals of North Africa have added the dialectal title of
m'sharqi or mashriqi ('of the east'). The method of tuning it, incredibly flexible in
the nineteenth century, is now turning into stabilized. These modifications are due partly
to the crack-up of the Ottoman Empire, which has caused a rupture between
Turkish and Arab cultures, and partly to the proliferation of educating techniques
endeavouring to impose a single variety of tuning, working from lower to large: yaka =
G 'ushayran = A duka = d nawa = g kardan = c'. Nonetheless, 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
composition is utilised in Turkey and Iraq. To solution the sensible demands of
current-day notation, a treble clef followed by the figure eight is utilised. This
procedure has been much criticized by people in favour of using the bass clef. The
tuning of the Turkish lute faithfully displays the Arab variety but in reverse, reading in
descending get: gerdaniye = g' neva = d' dugah = a asiran = e kaba dugah =
d (this final, far more cellular pitch might equally settle on G. This outdated 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
deemed incorrect in the Syro-Egyptian area, and agent of the previous
Ottoman faculty, 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-training course 'ud is just in excess of two octaves in Turkey, it is a few octaves
with the addition of a reduced course. Arabian devices can accomplish this by the
addition of a sixth program.
(iv) Six-system 'ud: Two kinds of six-program 'ud exist: 1 has 6 pairs of strings,
the other 5 pairs with an additional low string. The 1st was discovered by Jules
Rouanet in North Africa in direction of the end of the final century tuned inclusively it
has considering that disappeared except in Libya,
in which it is nevertheless created but with distinct tuning. A equivalent instrument, located in Syria,
is tuned C- E-A-d-g-c'. The instrument with five double strings and a one reduced
one particular, even so, is becoming progressively common from Istanbul to Baghdad. It has
become common to location the further string soon after the optimum (or chanterelle).
Its pitch is at the choice of the player no rule is laid down. The presence of the
further string endows the instrument with a wider variety and improved relieve of
taking part in, making it possible for the performer to operate effortlessly by means of three octaves. The
sixth training course is also coming to be utilised as an intermittent drone, a new
(v) Seven-course 'ud: 7-course versions, dependent on a sophisticated system of
tuning, had been identified in Egypt and Lebanon in the 19th century but have not been
witnessed considering that 1900. There is a single exception: the Tunisian, Fawzl Sayib, is a living
learn of the 7-program instrument in the six pairs and one low arrangement.
A attribute of this 'ud was that it reversed the arrangement of strings, putting initial
the high and then the reduced strings on the neck from remaining to appropriate. According to
Mikha'il Mushaqa (1800-88), only four of the 7 classes ended up played, the
cheapest training course (jaharka) and the two highest (busalik and nihuft) currently being unused in
The Faculty of Oud Online, is a system built to teach the Oud by means of Skype by the
migrant Oud grasp Ramy Adly, an Egyptian renowned Oud Player, Ramy Adly is a
youthful grasp of the oud, the flexible lute-like instrument that formed Arab
classical music. Grounded in the main Arab classical designs many thanks to rigorous
training in his indigenous Egypt, Adly has branched out continuously, incorporating jazz
idioms and embracing conversations with other musicians close to the globe.
Adly has done about the Middle East, Europe, and North The united states. He has
composed audio for theater and film, and gathered a big quantity of pupils
close to the world, by way of an innovative on the internet curriculum he created, known as The
College of Oud On the web. His delicate, strong enjoying has been listened to from the
Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and colleges.
Now dependent in Washington, DC, Adly proceeds to broaden the choices of his
instrument. “I want to deliver the oud to the very same level as the guitar culturally, the
instrument that is everywhere and can do every thing,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has always been like a member of the household. Virtually everyone
in his family members performed 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 remembers.
Listening is 1 point, and mastering the instrument an additional. Adly plunged into
his research of this age-previous instrument at the Arab Oud Property, with Iraqi oud
virtuoso Naseer Shamma. Adly discovered himself working towards for a dozen several hours a working day,
and loving it. “It was a good deal like the technique Paganini recognized for his pupils,”
Adly explains. “You have to go via the fireplace to be qualified as a performer and
composer. I graduated as equally composer and soloist.”