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History of the Oud

The oud is one of the oldest stringed instruments, dating back to the era of Akad (2350 BCE). It is closest to the spirit and conscience of humans and has become since then associated with Arab culture and traditions.

Oud has been man’s companion in his journey through thousands of years, adapting to various eras and routes. It acted as an ambassador to the cultures of the world, and man’s spiritual translator when addressing other people. It had a big place within Arab Islamic civilisation and was considered its most important musical instrument. Arab philosophers like al-Farabi, al-Kindi, lbn Sina, Amawi and others have built their theories of music around the oud. Arab history knew many varied and distinguished oud players, and their experiences formed the known musical schools, such as Ibn Sarij, Ziryab and others.

Since the Arab conquest of Andalusia, oud also played a major role in the development of Western music. This important musical influence goes back to Ziryab (b. 160 AH/777 CE; d. 238 AH/852 CE), who  was the head of singers in Andalusia, the sheikh of oud players and one of the main inventors of this instrument. Thanks to him, it was possible for the art of oud to spread and develop.


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