Friday, April 2, 2021

Something About the Oud

Not Norweignan wood.

According to the hagiographical study of Saint Fidgeta, Ud was a Byzantine city attacked by Emperor Tissaphernes following the appearance of a Fidgettine apparition in the 7th Century.

Ha. This is, of course, Bellairs having fun with strange-sounding words and using them in unexpected ways. Actually, the oud (or ud) is a pear-shaped stringed instrument commonly used in Turkish, Persian, Byzantine, and Middle Eastern music. Strangely enough, the first known complete description of the ‛ūd comes from the writings of the 9th-century philosopher, Yaʻqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī (or so claims Wikipedia). However, the oud, or similar instruments, have been used in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia for thousands of years. Theories exist as to the origin of the Arabic name oud (possibly Arabic for “from wood”), and names for the instrument differ across languages.

I was reading about musical instruments recently and thought of Tissaphernes when I stumbled on the oud. I then sought to hear the instrument at work, and both Brandon Acker and Navid Goldrick give us that chance with their videos below.  Enjoy!


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