In accordance to El-Farabie, the Oud dates back again to the times of Lamech a sixthgeneration
descendant of Adam. Lamech was recognized as the “Father of the Oud
players”. The first visual appeal of the Oud was 3000 BC. The desecrated
skeleton proposed the type of the Oud. Oud is acknowledged as the 1st stringed
instrument in heritage.
The oldest pictorial document of the Oud dates back to the Uruk interval 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 at present housed at the British Museum..
As the Oud turns into the quintessence of before chordophones, it also
constitutes their purposeful synthesis. In the 9th century, Miwardi, the jurist of
Baghdad, extolled its use in managing ailment, such as King David did via his
life 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 even now maintains its Egyptian and Iraqi features and musical stylings. The Oud
was played in sacred spots these kinds of as the temples of Egypt.
In the very first hundreds of years of Arabian civilization, the oud had four classes (one
string per course – double-strings arrived later on) only, tuned in successive
fourths. These had been known as (for the lowest in pitch) the Bamm, then arrived
(higher to optimum in pitch) the Mathnā, the Mathlath and the Zīr. A fifth
string (maximum in pitch, cheapest in its positioning in relation to other strings),
called ḥād ("sharp"), was often added for theoretical functions,
typically to complement the double octave.
The neck, joined to the human body, is described as 'unq ('neck') in classical writings
and the raqba ('neck') or zand ('wrist') these days. 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 significantly talked about, is important in the
instrument's building, figuring out the quantity and location of the intervals
and hence impacting 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 19.5 cm. In contemporary Egypt, the size of the neck might differ in between eighteen
and 20.five can. It is standardized as 20 cm in Syria, but a size of 24.5 cm might
be identified on Moroccan types, he 'ud 'arbi (Arab 'ud). If the 'ud 'arbi is the
descendant of an archaic design of Andalusian provenance, the higher element of the
instrument may possibly have turn out to be shorter. The neck rarely has
4. Models 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 terms (bamm and zir) and two other folks of Arab
origin (mathna and mathlath). There is no circumstantial documentary proof
to assistance this hypothesis.
(ii) Four-training course 'ud: The Arabian 'ud qadim (ancient lute), in certain, 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 might be tuned bass to treble or treble to bass. Bass to treble tuning is
represented by al-Kindi (9th century), who advocated tuning the lowest course
(bamm or 1st string) to the most affordable singable pitch. Inserting the ring finger on a
mathematically determined length of this string, one particular moves on to deduce the
pitch of the third open up course (mathna), then that of the next (mathlath) and
finally the fourth (zir). (This method is also applied to the five-program 'ud and is
nonetheless utilised as a tuning method, adhering to the sequence 1-4-2-3-5 or one-4-2-five-3.)
Adherents of the opposite school (Ikhwan al- Safa') tune from treble to bass. The
intention, inherited in portion by the Turkish 'ud, involves pulling difficult on the zir (large)
string, so that as it ways breaking-position it gives a clear audio. 1 then
moves on to decide the pitch of the second training course (mathna), the third
(mathlath) and ultimately the fourth (bamm). These two faculties did not continue to be
completely separate. But whichever method is used, equally conclude up with tuning by
successive 4ths, every training course being tuned a 4th earlier mentioned the decrease course
preceding it. Musicologists, Jap as effectively as Western, who attempt to interpret the
pitch of these notes in European phrases stop up with different benefits.
Even though 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 prepared traditions. The Moroccan method appears to be the
merchandise of a previous 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, may possibly be variously tuned: a
feature of these tunings is that they juxtapose the conventional 4ths with the octave
and occasionally the fifth and 6th (D-d- G-c). The strings of the 'ud 'arbi are named
dhil, ramal, maya, hsin this terminology by no signifies refers to a fastened pitch
common this kind of as educational and standardized tuition methods would would like for.
At the time of al-Kindi, two of the programs were created of gut and two of silk. In the
tenth century silk became 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 lower courses of the 'ud correspond with those of two upper
strings of the Chinese qin, a fact that has led to speculation about the
partnership in between Arab and Chinese civilizations by way of the Silk Route.
Yet another characteristic of the 4-course 'ud is that it is bichordal, possessing double
courses. 13th-century iconography displays that it was currently usual to pair the
strings at that time, possibly to improve sonority but also to permit the
improvement of a more virtuoso variety of performance.
(iii) Five-program 'ud: The addition in Andalusia of a fifth system has been
attributed to Ziryab (8th-9th century), although in theoretical writings it appeared
in Iraq with al-Kindi. (The addition of this added program has a parallel in China.)
With Ziryab the fifth program, identified as awsat ('intermediary'), a term perpetuated
in the 'ud of San'a' called qanbus, is put in between the next (mathna) and
3rd (mathlath) classes. With al-Kindi and his successors, it was to get to the
end of the instrument and turn out to be the string referred to as hadd ('high') or the second
zir. (In accordance to oral tradition, to get an octave on the prolonged-necked lute
baglama, a reduced string should be put in the center. This is completed when the neck
has few frets.) As the ancient 'ud did not have a two-octave compass, the
visual appeal of the fifth string corresponded to the requires of a new system.
The 4-system 'ud had no need to have to run right via the octave. Its repertory
was done on a tetrachord or pentachord, transposable an octave larger.
With the 5-training course model, the heptatonic technique imposed full sequence of
octaves. The new lute was referred to as 'ud kamil ('perfect 'ud').
The five-training course 'ud is the most frequent and most common design between
performers. It has also been referred to as the 'ud misri (Egyptian) because of the finely
made instruments made by the lute makers of Egypt, who export them
as significantly as Zanzibar. The people of North Africa have additional the dialectal title of
m'sharqi or mashriqi ('of the east'). The strategy of tuning it, incredibly adaptable in
the 19th century, is now turning out to be stabilized. These modifications are because of partly
to the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, which has induced a rupture amongst
Turkish and Arab cultures, and partly to the proliferation of training methods
endeavouring to impose a single sort of tuning, working from lower to substantial: yaka =
G 'ushayran = A duka = d nawa = g kardan = c'. Nonetheless, there are variants
reintroducing tuning by 4ths. Hence what is described as 'Aleppo tuning' is composed
of: qarar busalik = E 'ushayran A duka =d nawa = g kardan = c'. This latter
framework is utilised in Turkey and Iraq. To response the functional needs of
existing-working day notation, a treble clef adopted by the determine 8 is utilized. This
procedure has been much criticized by these in favour of making use of the bass clef. The
tuning of the Turkish lute faithfully displays the Arab type but in reverse, studying in
descending get: gerdaniye = g' neva = d' dugah = a asiran = e kaba dugah =
d (this previous, a lot more cellular pitch may equally settle upon G. This out-of-date 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'. Although it is now
regarded incorrect in the Syro-Egyptian region, and agent of the aged
Ottoman school, a tuning method in ascending buy survives in Iraq. It is composed
of: yaka = d 'ushayran = e duka = a nawa = d' kurdan = g'. The compass of the
bichordal five-course 'ud is just more than two octaves in Turkey, it is three octaves
with the addition of a lower program. Arabian instruments can achieve this by the
addition of a sixth program.
(iv) Six-program 'ud: Two varieties of six-training course 'ud exist: one particular has 6 pairs of strings,
the other five pairs with an added minimal string. The 1st was identified by Jules
Rouanet in North Africa in direction of the finish of the final century tuned inclusively it
has given that disappeared apart from in Libya,
the place it is even now produced but with various tuning. A comparable instrument, identified in Syria,
is tuned C- E-A-d-g-c'. The instrument with 5 double strings and a solitary reduced
one particular, even so, is becoming more and more common from Istanbul to Baghdad. It has
turn out to be widespread to location the extra string following the maximum (or chanterelle).
Its pitch is at the decision of the participant no rule is laid down. The presence of the
further string endows the instrument with a wider variety and increased relieve of
playing, permitting the performer to operate very easily by means of a few octaves. The
sixth course is also coming to be employed as an intermittent drone, a new
(v) 7-course 'ud: Seven-program designs, based on a sophisticated program of
tuning, have been found in Egypt and Lebanon in the nineteenth century but have not been
noticed considering that 1900. There is a single exception: the Tunisian, Fawzl Sayib, is a residing
learn of the seven-training course instrument in the 6 pairs and 1 low arrangement.
A function of this 'ud was that it reversed the arrangement of strings, putting initial
the higher and then the lower strings on the neck from left to correct. According to
Mikha'il Mushaqa (1800-88), only 4 of the seven classes were played, the
least expensive system (jaharka) and the two maximum (busalik and nihuft) being unused in
The Faculty of Oud On the web, is a platform built to educate the Oud through Skype by the
migrant Oud master Ramy Adly, an Egyptian popular Oud Participant, Ramy Adly is a
younger master of the oud, the adaptable lute-like instrument that formed Arab
classical songs. Grounded in the principal Arab classical designs thanks to demanding
instruction in his native Egypt, Adly has branched out repeatedly, incorporating jazz
idioms and embracing discussions with other musicians around the planet.
Adly has carried out all around the Center East, Europe, and North The united states. He has
composed songs for theater and movie, and gathered a massive variety of pupils
around the globe, by way of an progressive on-line curriculum he developed, known as The
College of Oud Online. His delicate, robust taking part in has been listened to from the
Library at Alexandria to American cathedrals and educational institutions.
Now dependent in Washington, DC, Adly proceeds to increase the opportunities of his
instrument. “I want to deliver the oud to the same stage as the guitar culturally, the
instrument which is almost everywhere and can do every thing,” he exclaims.
For Adly, the oud has usually been like a member of the family members. Nearly everybody
in his family performed the oud when he was increasing up in Cairo, like uncles,
siblings, and his beloved grandfather, who gave him his 1st introduction to the
sophisticated, evocative instrument. “I grew up listening to the oud,” he recalls.
Listening is one particular issue, and mastering the instrument yet another. Adly plunged into
his examine of this age-outdated instrument at the Arab Oud Residence, with Iraqi oud
virtuoso Naseer Shamma. Adly discovered himself practicing for a dozen several hours a working day,
and loving it. “It was a lot like the program Paganini established for his college students,”
Adly points out. “You have to go by way of the fire to be trained as a performer and
composer. I graduated as the two composer and soloist.”