Discover Arabic Oud Features and History

The oud is a type of stringed musical instrument. A slightly smaller version for women is called zenne oud. Smaller ones are also made for children. Arabic ouds are usually larger than expected.


The oud, whose sound range is 3 octaves, is used as 11 or 12 strings. There are six groups in string groupings, and the upper bam string is 11 strings when used as a single and 12 strings when used in pairs. The body of the oud has a structure resembling a half pear. Woods such as mahogany and hornbeam, so hardwoods for the body part, are preferred. The dorsal side, the ridge consists of 20 to 21 equal parts called leaves. Also, the screws in the handle are arranged backward. Please continue reading our article for detailed information about the history, technical details, and how to tune the Arabic oud.

 arabic ouds

 History of the Arabic oud  


The oud has a legendary status, and its origins are hidden in ancient times. Its legendary story begins with the name al-ud, which traditionally from Arabic means “wood.”


Most accounts trace the oud's entry into Europe and the Iberian Peninsula via North Africa through the Andalusian Umayyad Caliphate in 711 AD. The instrument eventually grew frets and became the French classic article, the le-ud, resulting in the oud.

 arabic oud

Technical details about Arabic oud


It is known that between the 5th and 7th centuries before Islam, Arabic music was in the form of oral poetry accompanied by drums or ouds. Back then, songs had only one mode or melody. In the early Islamic period, Greek musical principles were translated by the Muslim scholar Ishaq al-Kindi, who published 15 articles on music theory.


The word "music" was first used in Arabic as "mussiqa." In the 9th and 10th centuries, scholars produced the first comprehensive collections of poetry and music.


How to tune an Arabic oud  


There are four basic techniques used in lute tuning. These are as follows:


Oud, traditionally a 5-string structure, is tuned from thin notes to thick and is made in the form of left, re, la, mi, and re, respectively.


The oud can be tuned using chromatic tuners. It is important to note that the symbol specific to the instrument to be tuned is found and selected on the instrument. 440 Hz is set on the tuner as the frequency value. Any value other than that will cause the strings to be lower or higher.  The key section with the key written must be set to C. 


As Sultan Instrument, we have discussed what you need to know about Arabic oud in this article. Our goal is to reduce costs and hassles for our valued customers and to present the best instruments worldwide. You can visit our website for detailed information about our products.

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