Oud: Ud (lute arabe) - The ud, direct ancestor of the European instrument, is a short necked nipped lute without keys whose case is half-almond-shaped. As a protagonist of Arab musical culture, it has benn chosen to explain the Arab musical theory and tonal system and it is the basic instrument of the educated music. The Arabs define it, not without reason, the”musical instruments sultan”. From the Arab world, the ud spreads up to central Asia and southern Sahara, and in the Middle Ages it finds its way towards Europe trough Spain, Bisanzio and the crusaders returning to their mother-country. Ud litterally means “wood”, and it comes from a 4 stringed Persian instrument called “barbat”, used in the pre-islamic age.
In IX century Ziryab, a great ud virtuoso, who moves from Baghdad to Cordova to found a music school, adds a fifth low string to the instrument. The present uds have 5 or 6 strings pair and a low string. Spain.


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