'Ud - Turkey


Purchased in Epheseus, Turkey, 1988

From Graciela's Notes

The 'Ud is the most important instrument in the Arab world and is used to play Middle Eastern music. It is a plucked lute with a deep body and is the ancestor of the European lute. Over the centuries various tunings and stringings have been used. The Moroccan 'Ud has five pairs of strings and that is rather standard. However, this Turkish ‘Ud has six pairs of strings. The parts of the 'Ud are the guard, sound holes, strings, body, fingerboard, short neck, and tuning pegs. The guard protects the body from damage by the plectrum. The sound holes may vary in number and they are ornamented. This 'Ud has three decorated sound holes. Today some lute decorations are not limited to the sound holes, which are carved. The neck is often decorated with inlaid precious woods and ivory; sometimes, the back is inlaid with variegated woods. I bought this beautiful 'Ud in the impressive ruins of Epheseus, Turkey during my third visit to that country – Easter and Spring holidays 1988.

A little history on the lute ('Ud): The lute was already popular in the Middle Ages. It was introduced by the Arabs (the name itself comes from Arabic), and soon became important musically, undergoing modifications and being developed into other instruments. It soon became the first accompanying instrument for popular songs. The 'Ud came to Spain during the Moorish occupation; its introduction paved the way for the development of the European lute, vihuela, and guitar. It departed with the Moors during their expulsion.

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