All About Oud Instrument

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A musical instrument with a big stomach, a brief and curved handle, a beam and a plectrum. Its curved back is made of 19 or 21 boards within the form of a circle. The body is hollow. In the middle of the front section called the chest, there are small cavities on the sides called “roses”.

Oud instrument (written as “ud” in Turkish) is the ancestor of the European lute, name of which derives from “al-ud”. It is not a native Turkish instrument but it has been performed in Anatolia for not less than five centuries. Besides, within the history, the oud has been performed by several civilizations in Central Asia, Mesopotamia, Iran, Arabia. Accordingly, there are a number of types of ouds besides Turkish oud. The oud instrument occupies an incredible place in Turkish Artwork Music, Turkish city music (in fasil orchestras) and in arabesk music. Oud has been known from the documents and oral tradition as the king, sultan or emir of musical instruments.

History of Oud

In some sources, it is said that Farabi invented the oud, however long before Farabi, there are oud and comparable devices in miniatures and reliefs. The main reason why Farabi is perceived as an inventor is that he is a musician who has mastered the oud and the tuning system he delivered to the oud. Farabi, who was a kind of who gave the most complete information in regards to the oud in his period, added the fifth string to the oud, which was a 4-string instrument till that time. Concerning the oud, Ibn Sina (980/1037) from Farabi says in his book Kitabu’ş Şifa that it is one of the most famous instruments. Tells technical information such as chords and pitches with figures. While musical devices were mentioned in the Ikhwan-i Safa tracts in the tenth century, it was said that essentially the most stunning of those was the oud.

The frets on the handle of the oud, preserved in the Farabi interval, have been deserted towards the tip of the tenth century. The oud was previously performed with a wooden plectrum. The famous Andalusian musician Ziryab (11th century) replaced it with a plectrum made of eagle feather. As we speak, plectrums made of versatile plastic are usually used.

The oud instrument made its way to Europe by Spain. In the thirteenth century, the crusaders brought it back to Europe, and in time, it grew to become the lute. That’s why lute takes its name after the oud (‘le ut’ in old French), however it’s been added totally different options from oud, like frets.

The oud, additionally which grew to become the center of attention in the Ottoman palace within the 15th century, gained an irreplaceable value that the general public began to use in classical Turkish music within the nineteenth century.

Oud instrument has a big soundbox linked to a brief neck. The instrument has a pear-formed body which is a deep, striped bowl made from lightweight wood. The wood ought to be light because the bowl is supposed to reverberate when it is struck. The soundboard, the entrance part of the body, accommodates one or two, sometimes three sound holes. These sound holes could also be oval or they can be ornamented depending on the lands they are performed on. There is a piece of fish-skin or leather between the bridge and the sound hole with a purpose to protect the stomach from the strokes of the plectrum. The bowl of the oud is formed by thin woods or ribs bent over a mold. The number of the ribs varies from sixteen to 21. The tuning pegs of the oud are screwed to the pegbox.

The quality of the material used within the making of the oudis important. The more the material is numerous, the better it sounds. A high-quality oud’s face is made from spruce. The tuning pegs and fingerboard are constructed from ebony. Maple, walnut, palisander and mahogany are used for the bowl.

The oud does not have any commonplace size or number of strings. Yet basically, all of the types of ouds have eleven intestine strings which are organized in five double-programs with a sixth, single bass string. Oud is performed with a plectrum. Its fretless neck allows the instrument to generate any intervals or microtones particular to the Center Eastern music. Oud instrument is suitable so that you can enjoy Turkish, Iran or Arab music by playing makams/maqamat.

Oudis performed according to two schools of performance. The primary is “Ottoman” school and it accepts as principle the ornamentation of the sound, produced by delicate glissandos or the fingers and slight vibratos. The second approach is Egyptian approach, according to which the amount is amplified by firm strokes of the plectrum, which makes strings resonate. This style requires one other kind of virtuosity.

There are essentially six types of oud when they’re considered according to their origin. These types of oud mostly differ in their timbre and there are small measurement variations between them.

Arabic oud is the most known oud instrument type and perhaps the preferred because of its romantic, rich and deep sound. It is heavier and slightly bigger evaluating to Turkish ouds. Turkish ouds are employed in Turkey and Greece. They have a more treble sound. Syrian oud, which is a sub-type of Arabic oud generates plenty of overtones. Iraqi ouds can also be categorized under Arabic ouds. Its strings are tied to the bottom of the instrument. Because of this feature, it is said that it has a floating bridge. Iranian oud, which can also be called Barbat is more distinct and attributable to its shape, it has a bass, deep, Persian sound.

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