According to El-Farabie, the Oud dates back to the times of Lamech a sixthgeneration
descendant of Adam. Lamech was acknowledged as the “Father of the Oud
players”. The very first physical appearance of the Oud was 3000 BC. The desecrated
skeleton advised the form of the Oud. Oud is identified as the very first stringed
instrument in historical past.
The oldest pictorial record of the Oud dates back to the Uruk time period in Southern
Mesopotamia (Iraq), in excess of 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 before chordophones, it also
constitutes their practical synthesis. In the ninth century, Miwardi, the jurist of
Baghdad, extolled its use in dealing with sickness, such as King David did via his
lifestyle 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 areas these kinds of as the temples of Egypt.
In the initial centuries of Arabian civilization, the oud had four courses (one
string per system – double-strings arrived later on) only, tuned in successive
fourths. These were named (for the cheapest in pitch) the Bamm, then came
(increased to maximum in pitch) the Mathnā, the Mathlath and the Zīr. A fifth
string (optimum in pitch, most affordable in its positioning in relation to other strings),
referred to as ḥād ("sharp"), was often added for theoretical purposes,
usually to enhance the double octave.
The neck, joined to the entire body, is described as 'unq ('neck') in classical writings
and the raqba ('neck') or zand ('wrist') right now. It extends the higher component of the
instrument by some twenty cm and is inserted into the soundbox up to the
soundhole. This length, which has been much discussed, is essential in the
instrument's development, identifying the quantity and spot of the intervals
and hence impacting 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 up to date Egypt, the length of the neck may possibly vary in between eighteen
and twenty.5 can. It is standardized as twenty cm in Syria, but a length of 24.5 cm could
be located 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 may possibly have turn into shorter. The neck rarely has
4. 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,
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 other individuals of Arab
origin (mathna and mathlath). There is no circumstantial documentary proof
to support this speculation.
(ii) 4-course 'ud: The Arabian 'ud qadim (historic lute), in particular, invited
cosmological speculation, linking the strings with the humours, the temperature,
the elements, 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 least expensive singable pitch. Placing the ring finger on a
mathematically determined length of this string, one moves on to deduce the
pitch of the 3rd open up training course (mathna), then that of the next (mathlath) and
ultimately the fourth (zir). (This technique is also utilized to the five-training course 'ud and is
still utilized as a tuning approach, subsequent the sequence 1-four-2-3-5 or one-four-two-5-three.)
Adherents of the opposite college (Ikhwan al- Safa') tune from treble to bass. The
intention, inherited in portion by the Turkish 'ud, entails pulling difficult on the zir (higher)
string, so that as it methods breaking-level it gives a very clear sound. One then
moves on to determine the pitch of the next system (mathna), the 3rd
(mathlath) and finally the fourth (bamm). These two educational institutions did not stay
totally separate. But whichever method is employed, both end up with tuning by
successive 4ths, each and every training course getting tuned a 4th over the reduce program
previous it. Musicologists, Eastern as properly as Western, who consider to interpret the
pitch of these notes in European terms end up with diverse benefits.
Although 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
among oral and written traditions. The Moroccan technique would seem to be the
merchandise of a prior 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
attribute of these tunings is that they juxtapose the standard 4ths with the octave
and occasionally the 5th 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 fastened pitch
common such as academic and standardized tuition approaches would wish for.
At the time of al-Kindi, two of the courses had been 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 = 64 threads, mathlath = forty eight, mathna = 36, zir = 27.
The figures for the decrease courses of the 'ud correspond with individuals of two higher
strings of the Chinese qin, a reality that has led to speculation about the
connection in between Arab and Chinese civilizations by way of the Silk Route.
Yet another attribute of the 4-course 'ud is that it is bichordal, possessing double
programs. thirteenth-century iconography demonstrates that it was previously common to pair the
strings at that time, most likely to improve sonority but also to enable the
advancement of a more virtuoso variety of functionality.
(iii) Five-program 'ud: The addition in Andalusia of a fifth training course has been
attributed to Ziryab (eighth-9th century), even though in theoretical writings it appeared
in Iraq with al-Kindi. (The addition of this further training course has a parallel in China.)
With Ziryab the fifth course, recognized as awsat ('intermediary'), a time period perpetuated
in the 'ud of San'a' referred to as qanbus, is placed between the 2nd (mathna) and
third (mathlath) courses. With al-Kindi and his successors, it was to attain the
stop of the instrument and turn into the string referred to as hadd ('high') or the 2nd
zir. (In accordance to oral custom, to acquire an octave on the prolonged-necked lute
baglama, a low string need to be put in the center. This is completed when the neck
has couple of frets.) As the historic 'ud did not have a two-octave compass, the
appearance of the fifth string corresponded to the demands of a new program.
The four-course 'ud had no want to run correct via the octave. Its repertory
was done on a tetrachord or pentachord, transposable an octave higher.
With the 5-training course product, the heptatonic system imposed complete collection of
octaves. The new lute was known as 'ud kamil ('perfect 'ud').
The 5-system 'ud is the most frequent and most popular model amongst
performers. It has also been called the 'ud misri (Egyptian) because of the finely
built devices created by the lute makers of Egypt, who export them
as much as Zanzibar. The individuals of North Africa have included the dialectal title of
m'sharqi or mashriqi ('of the east'). The method of tuning it, extremely adaptable in
the 19th century, is now becoming stabilized. These modifications are due partly
to the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, which has caused a rupture between
Turkish and Arab cultures, and partly to the proliferation of training techniques
endeavouring to impose a single type of tuning, operating from minimal to substantial: yaka =
G 'ushayran = A duka = d nawa = g kardan = c'. Nonetheless, there are variants
reintroducing tuning by 4ths. As a result what is described as 'Aleppo tuning' consists
of: qarar busalik = E 'ushayran A duka =d nawa = g kardan = c'. This latter
construction is utilised in Turkey and Iraq. To response the useful demands of
present-working day notation, a treble clef followed by the figure eight is utilised. This
process has been considerably criticized by these in favour of utilizing the bass clef. The
tuning of the Turkish lute faithfully displays the Arab kind but in reverse, reading through in
descending get: gerdaniye = g' neva = d' dugah = a asiran = e kaba dugah =
d (this last, far more cellular pitch might equally settle on G. This out-of-date 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
regarded as incorrect in the Syro-Egyptian location, and consultant of the old
Ottoman faculty, a tuning strategy in ascending buy survives in Iraq. It is made up
of: yaka = d 'ushayran = e duka = a nawa = d' kurdan = g'. The compass of the
bichordal 5-training course 'ud is just above two octaves in Turkey, it is 3 octaves
with the addition of a lower system. Arabian instruments can achieve this by the
addition of a sixth course.
(iv) Six-system 'ud: Two kinds of 6-course 'ud exist: 1 has six pairs of strings,
the other five pairs with an extra low string. The 1st was discovered by Jules
Rouanet in North Africa towards the finish of the very last century tuned inclusively it
has considering that disappeared except in Libya,
the place it is nonetheless created but with various tuning. A equivalent instrument, found in Syria,
is tuned C- E-A-d-g-c'. The instrument with five double strings and a single lower
one particular, however, is turning out to be ever more normal from Istanbul to Baghdad. It has
turn out to be widespread to place the extra string following the highest (or chanterelle).
Its pitch is at the decision of the participant no rule is laid down. The existence of the
further string endows the instrument with a wider selection and improved relieve of
enjoying, allowing the performer to run easily through three octaves. The
sixth program is also coming to be used as an intermittent drone, a new
(v) 7-training course 'ud: 7-course models, based on a complex program of
tuning, ended up found in Egypt and Lebanon in the 19th century but have not been
witnessed given that 1900. There is one exception: the Tunisian, Fawzl Sayib, is a living
learn of the seven-course instrument in the 6 pairs and a single low arrangement.
A feature of this 'ud was that it reversed the arrangement of strings, placing initial
the substantial and then the reduced strings on the neck from left to correct. According to
Mikha'il Mushaqa (1800-88), only 4 of the seven programs have been performed, the
most affordable system (jaharka) and the two highest (busalik and nihuft) being unused in
The University of Oud Online, is a system built to teach the Oud through Skype by the
migrant Oud master Ramy Adly, an Egyptian popular Oud Participant, Ramy Adly is a
youthful master of the oud, the versatile lute-like instrument that shaped Arab
classical music. Grounded in the primary Arab classical variations many thanks to demanding
education in his indigenous Egypt, Adly has branched out repeatedly, incorporating jazz
idioms and embracing conversations with other musicians close to the planet.
Adly has done all around the Middle East, Europe, and North America. He has
composed audio for theater and movie, and collected a huge quantity of learners
around the planet, via an innovative online curriculum he developed, named The
University of Oud On the web. His delicate, robust playing has been heard from the
Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and educational institutions.
Now based in Washington, DC, Adly carries on to grow the prospects of his
instrument. “I want to provide the oud to the identical stage as the guitar culturally, the
instrument which is just about everywhere and can do every thing,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has always been like a member of the family members. Nearly everyone
in his loved ones performed the oud when he was developing up in Cairo, such as uncles,
siblings, and his beloved grandfather, who gave him his very first introduction to the
sophisticated, evocative instrument. “I grew up listening to the oud,” he recalls.
Listening is a single thing, and mastering the instrument another. Adly plunged into
his review of this age-aged instrument at the Arab Oud Property, with Iraqi oud
virtuoso Naseer Shamma. Adly discovered himself practicing for a dozen hours a day,
and loving it. “It was a whole lot like the technique Paganini set up for his students,”
Adly explains. “You have to go by way of the hearth to be qualified as a performer and
composer. I graduated as the two composer and soloist.”