The Arabic oud is the most preferred oud instrument among the types of ouds used in the world. It owes its popularity to its romantic, rich sound and deep timbre. Arabic oud is heavier compared to Turkish ouds given that its soundbox whose bowl is thicker. The bowl of the Arabic oud is thick enough to resist the hard weather conditions such as very high temperatures, heath differences between day and night, etc. When the strings are struck, the sustain is shorter in this kind of oud. Arabic ouds are also slightly bigger than the Turkish ouds and they are mainly used in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Syria, and the region known as the Levant comprising Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan. However, its reputation has expanded worldwide.
After all, Arabic ouds are the ancestors of the European lute. Arabic ouds are fretless instruments, they are played with a single pick. There are several types of Arabic ouds in terms of their number of strings, not all of these types are frequently used by players. There are Arabic ouds with four courses, each course with a pair of strings, which are still used in Morocco. Arabic ouds with five courses are the most common ones. They are also called ud mısrî (Egyptian oud) due to fine ouds made by Egyptian oud makers. The Arabic oud with eleven strings organized in five courses with an additional course of a single string is also commonly used and you can find eleven string Arabic ouds in our store. The extra string in the six-course oud (the sixth course being with a single string) enables the instrument to generate a broader range of pitches. In our store, we allow our customers to make a choice among standard, special, and professional ouds.
You can select any kind of Arabic oud from the wide range of Arabic ouds we present in our store according to your budget and your expectations from the instrument. As you know, Arabic ouds have large soundboxes or bowls made of a series of ribs. The quality of the bowl depends on the wood used to manufacture the oud. The materials used in the bowls of the Arabic ouds in our store vary from walnut to mahogany. Their flat front surfaces or the faces are from spruce, which is a lightweight wood that reverberates when struck. The tuning pegs and fingerboards are constructed from ebony. We sell good-quality, handmade professional and special ouds. Surely, the best-quality ouds are handmade, and the ouds we sell in our store are produced by some of the best luthiers in the world.
For instance, you can check our special Arabic oud with thirteen strings manufactured by Mehmet Caymaz. These ouds are excellent because they are comfortable and increase the quality of the performance.
On the other hand, we provide standard ouds and a range of factory-made Arabic ouds, which would be convenient for beginners, who have just begun to explore this authentic instrument. The sizes of the Arabic ouds in our catalog are nearly the same; they come with a distance of 60 cm from the bridge to the nut, a bowl of 51 cm, and their width is 38 cm.
We can assure you will find the best Arabic oud for your needs among the oud types on our website. All of our ouds are made of high-quality products, and we offer our Arabic ouds at the best prices for their quality.
History of Arabic Oud
The word oud appears for the first time in 7th century Arabic texts. However, the words barbat, oud, and tumbur appear in later Persian and Arabic texts. It is known that Fârâbî played the oud instrument at that time and made some changes to this musical instrument. The main reason why Farabi is perceived as an inventor is that he is a musician who has mastered the oud musical instrument and the tuning system he brought to the oud. Farabi, who was one of those who gave the most comprehensive information about the oud during his lifetime, added the 5th string to the oud, which was a 4-string instrument until that time.
Arabic oud is considered one of the oldest musical instruments in history. It appears in wall frescos in Mesopotamian, and Ancient Egyptian tombs belong to 16th century B.C. Even though the shape of the oud is different from these paintings shows almost the same structure as the Persian barbat, which is considered Oud’s closest ancestor. It became the way it is today in the Islamic period and started to spread to all Middle Eastern Countries.
The oud was previously played with a wooden plectrum. Today, plectrums made of flexible plastic are generally used. The current structure of the oud musical instrument has been preserved for about a thousand years, except for some minor changes. About twenty crescent-shaped wooden slices form the large body of the instrument that fills the human lap. The handle is attached to the body using a wedge. The width of this flat handle, narrowing towards the auger, at the junction with the body is about four fingers.
Features of Arabic Oud
The origin of the word oud, which is a stringed instrument, comes from the Arabic word al-oud, which means aloe or gall tree. The Turks discarded the hand jewelry found at the beginning of this word and transformed it into the word oud over time.
From the past to the present, in addition to the most popular classical size ouds, smaller and larger ouds have been designed. A slightly smaller version for women is called the zenne oud. Smaller ones were also made for children. Arabian ouds are usually larger than expected.
The ud, which has a sound range of 3 octaves, is used as 11 or 12 strings. There are six groups of wires in wire groupings, and the top bam wire is 11 wires when used as a single, and 12 wires when used in pairs. The bam string at the top is tuned to the thick la sound called coarse dugah in Turkish Music and is used for demo purposes. The body of the ut has a structure resembling a half pear. For the body part, woods such as mahogany and hornbeam, which are hardwoods, are preferred. The dorsal side, which is the back, consists of 20 to 21 equal parts called leaves. The screws on the handle are arranged backward. Bridge To Note: Average 60 cm in length. Since the oud musical instrument has a fuller and thicker tone than other stringed instruments, it was frequently used in entertainments during the palace periods. Even in TV series, it has been seen that this musical instrument is used in entertainment.
Playing the arabic oud is a laborious and difficult instrument to learn. First of all, as in every musical instrument, it should be known what the strings mean. It is very important to have a good grasp of which string makes which sound and which note it hits. Your curiosity and interest in the oud instrument are very important in order to make these easier than usual. The arabic oud is played by touching the strings. In order to play the arabic oud, two hands, one on the body and one on the neck, must be used to press the strings.
Arabic Oud Tuning System
There are four types of tuning for oud strings, which are as follows: 1) On the traditional five-string oud musical instrument (from thin to thick); sol-re-la-mi-re; 2) On the contemporary six-string oud instrument (in the same order): sol-re-la-mi-re-la (Targan sometimes uses this bold La as a bold Sol depending on the piece he is going to play); 3) the change made by Bacanos, as sol-re-la-mi-si-fa; 4) in Cinuçen Tanrkorur's tuning system, left-re-la-mi-si-thick (mi).