Let’s delve into it!
Have you always wondered where the Oud instrument came from and why it is so popularly played across the Middle East? Perhaps you would like to know more information about the construction of the instrument, or about the most famous players within the Middle East. If so, you have come to the right place!
You are just about to read into the most comprehensive study of the Oud instrument, from its origins to its constructions, to the players in the Arabic world that have made this instrument so renowned. Everything you could ever need to know about this enchanting instrument you will find here.
It has been considered one of the most important instruments within Arabic music for centuries and still is considered a holy grail today. The Oud has evolved over the years, in size, sound, and tuning. It is widely played across the Middle East in a variety of styles and genres. The versatility of this intoxicating instrument is one of the main reasons it has been so easily adapted throughout a variety of countries in the Middle East including Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and Armenia. While there are many styles played on the Oud, the most significant is the Arabic Maqam, something that we will discuss in detail later.
It comes from the Lute family, and to look at, it is very similar to the lute. However, The Oud has a shorter neck and does not include frets. The fact that the Oud is fretless makes it the perfect instrument for easily playing Maqams and microtonal scales. The Oud has 11 or 13 strings, depending on the instrument, that are then grouped into 5 or 6 courses. The word ‘Oud’ in Arabic means wood, representing the variety of natural and important woods used to make this enchanting instrument. Many would argue that the Oud is the main instrument in Arabic music, and this article will delve into all the reasons as to why this is so. First, we will have a look at the history of the Oud and its unique journey across the Middle East and Europe.