Oud is an instrument with a big belly, curved handle, beam, plectrum, and long and straight handle. It has a curving back made out of 19 or 21 circular planks. The human body is essentially empty. Two small chambers on either side of the chest's center, known as "roses," can be found in the chest's front region.
A Turkish instrument called "ud" is the parent of the European lute, called "al-ud" in Turkish. It has been enjoyed in Anatolia for at least five centuries, even though it is not an indigenous Turkish instrument. In addition, the oud has been performed throughout history by a variety of cultures in Central Asia, Mesopotamia, Iran, and Arabia. So, there are several different types of ouds, including Turkish ouds. Turkish Art Music, Turkish urban music (fasil orchestras), and Arabesk music all use the oud as a primary instrument. For centuries, the oud has been described as the "monarch" of musical instruments in historical sources and oral tradition.
How do the oud instruments look like?
The short neck of the oud connects to a big soundbox. Pear-shaped, the instrument's bowl is made of lightweight wood and is deep and striped in various hues. Because the bowl is intended to resonate when struck, it should be light wood. Some guitars have two or even three sound holes on their soundboards.
Depending on the area they are played on, these sound holes may be round or ornate. Between the soundhole and the bridge, a piece of fish skin or leather is used to protect the belly from the plectrum's strokes. The oud's bowl is made by bending thin woods or ribs around a mold. Between 16 and 21 ribs are found on an average rib cage. The oud's pegbox is fastened to the tuning pegs.
How to check quality of oud instruments:
Choosing a good oud depends on the quality of the materials used in its construction. Having a wide variety of content makes the music sound better. Spruce is used to making the face of fine ouds. Ebony is used for the fingerboard and tuning pegs. The bowl is made from various woods, including maple, walnut, palisander, and mahogany.
There is no standard in terms of the oud's size and string count. A single bass string is found on all types of ouds, while the gut strings are arranged in five double courses, with 11 in total, across all of them. To play the oud, A plectrum is used. The fretless neck of the instrument permits it to produce any intervals or microtones that are unique to Middle Eastern music. Playing makams/maqamat on an oud instrument is a great way to listen to Turkish, Iranian, or Arab music.
Where is Oud instruments played?
Oud is used two different styles of performance. The first is the "Ottoman" school, which takes the embellishment of sound as a principle, which is achieved through subtle glissandos or finger vibratos. The second method is the Egyptian method, in which the volume is increased by using hard plectrum strokes that cause the strings to vibrate. This approach necessitates a different type of virtuosity.
The oud is regarded as one of the earliest musical instruments in the Arab world. Indeed, it is the essential instrument in the music of the Middle East. Another group thinks that this instrument is descended from Egyptian Nefer, while another group thinks it is descended from ancient Persian barbat. As a side note, the oud is also considered an ancestor of the European guitar.