In Ouds, size matters…

Another core part that distinguishes Ouds from each other is the string length, AKA scale. It’s a rather technical aspect, but it has a vast effect on the sound. Basically it is the string’s vibrating length. The longer it is, the more ‘bass’ the sound is. As you can guess, the Egyptian oud, being the muddiest and bassy of them all has the longest scale of 61.5cm. Iraqi Ouds and some time Syrian ouds can be also 60cm.

Turkish & Syrian ouds have often a scale of 58.5cm. That’s why it’s also easier to play them, simply because you don’t have to stretch your fingers that much. Today, 58.5cm is the standard for many oud makers around the world, regardless of what ‘style’ they build.

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