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Oud or Ud

The oud is the tear-drop short necked lute of the Arab World and Persia. The oud is said to have had celestial origins, and was bestowed on mortals, which is probably why it is one of the few musical instruments tolerated by the Islamic faith. It is also said to have great magical powers to heal the sick and infirm. The ud originated in ancient Persia, and is now played throughout the Arab world, where it is considered as the greatest of instruments. The ud is the parent instrument to the European lute, and Chinese pipa.

The ud has a number of tunings, here is one of many using a very light gauge nylon string:
From the bass to the treble with all double strings in unison:

  • A single bottom str. - d,
  • then a pair - g,
  • a pair - a.
  • a pair - d (octave above the bass),
  • a pair - g,
  • and then the top pair - c.

    To string the ud, the lowest string goes to the peg closest to the body of the instrument and facing the ceiling as the instrument is held with the neck on the left. The lowest pair are strung on the next two pegs on the top, and the next pair, farthest from the body. The top pair of strings are strung on the pegs closest to the oud’s body and facing the floor. The second from the top pair, are on the next two pegs and the third pair from the top are on the farthest two pegs. There are many other tunings and string arrangements.

    Country: many
    Region: Middle East
    Type: Plucked string

  • Oud or Ud - Arabic lute
    ©  R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002