The oud (or ud) is one of the most popular instruments in Middle Eastern music. Its name derives from the Arabic for 'wood', and this refers to the strips of wood used to make its rounded body. In Greece it is known as the outi and in Iran as the barbat. The neck of the oud, which is short in comparison to the body, has no frets and this contributes to its unique sound. The most common string combination is five pairs of strings tuned in unison and a single bass string, although up to thirteen strings may be found. Strings are generally made of nylon or gut, and are plucked with a plectrum known as a risha or mızrap. Another distinctive feature of the oud is its head, with the tuning pegs bent back at an angle to the neck. The oud used in the Arab world is slightly different to that found in Turkey, Armenia and Greece. Different tunings are used and the Turkish-style oud has a brighter tone than its Arab counterpart. The European lute is a descendant of the oud, from which it takes its name (al-oud).

The purpose of this site is to provide an information resource on all aspects of the oud. Please email me with any comments, or send me photos of your oud to appear in the Oud Gallery with as much info as possible on its history and construction.

Mohamed Abozekry album, 'Karkadé'.
Achref Chargui Trio album, 'Tajaliyat'.
Peppe Frana album, 'Upwelling'.
Dražen Franolić album, 'Put'. Also, check out Dražen's Youtube channel.
Franck Leriche album, 'Lattakia'. You can also listen to Franck's second album, 'Akthar', a live recording from a private concert in Istanbul on Soundcloud here.
Tareq Jundi's albums 'Terhaal', 'Music from Amman' and 'Sowar' can now be purchased at Indiepush.
Saif Karomi album, 'Taraf Baghdadi', available here.
Issa Murad album, 'Joussour'.
Abderraouf Ouertani album, 'Contes outre-méditerranéens'.
Haytham Safia album, 'Two Elements'.

 Events, websites, publications:
New pages have been added to this website for Ramy Adly, Mohamed Ahaddaf, Dražen Franolić, Arsalan Kamkar, Amos Libby (Okbari), Marcel Khalife, Kane Mathis, Issa Murad (Joussour), Naser Musa, Stavros Papakyritsis (Rima Oud Duo), Mehmet Polat, Siavash Roshan, Christos Syngelos (Rima Oud Duo), Gad Tidhar (Faran Ensemble).
Nikos Dimitriadis has produced a high-quality video of a recent concert in Germany with percussionist Nikos Varelas.
Makam Music – Beauty and Diversity is a project by Fernando Martin, in which he has composed 100 pieces of music based on 100 different makamlar/maqamat identified through extensive research.
Charbel Rouhana has produced a new two-volume oud method in Arabic/English, Maqam El Oud.
Ramy Adly is now offering oud lessons online via Skype at the School of Oud Online. Check out his 2015 album 'Mirage' too, which is available via iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon.
Oudmigrations is a website and blog dedicated to the journeys of Ottoman ouds, their histories, and the stories attached to their makers, players, and owners.
Oud for Guitarists is offering a Masterclass course for intermediate to advanced players.
Eric Ederer has published a comprehensive book entitled 'Makam and Beyond: a Progressive Approach to Near Eastern Music Theory'. It can be purchased as a paperback or PDF file from Lulu.com.


Copyright © 2001-2017 David Parfitt  All rights reserved. Last updated 18th February 2017.