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The oud (Arabic: عود ʿūd [ʕuːd]) is a short-neck lute-type, pear-shaped stringed instrument (a chordophone in the Hornbostel-Sachs classification of instruments) with 11 or 13 strings grouped in 5 or 6 courses, commonly used predominantly in the music of Egypt, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Kurdistan, Yemen, Sudan, Armenia, Greece, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, North African Chaabi, Classical, and Andalusian classic music. The oud is very similar to modern lutes, and also to Western lutesThe modern oud is most likely derived from the Persian barbatSimilar instruments have been used in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia for thousands of years, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, North Africa, the Caucasus, and the Levant; there may even be prehistoric antecedents of the luteThe oud, as a fundamental difference with the western lute, has no frets and a smaller neckIt is the direct ancestor of the European lute.
The oldest surviving oud is thought to be in Brussels, at the Museum of Musical Instruments.An early description of the "modern" oud was given by 11th-century musician, singer and author Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haytham : أبو علي، الحسن بن الحسن بن الهيثم (c965 – c1040) in his compendium on music Ḥāwī al-Funūn wa Salwat al-MaḥzūnThe first known complete description of the ‛ūd and its construction is found in the epistle Risāla fī-l-Luḥūn wa-n-Nagham by 9th-century Philosopher of the Arabs Yaʻqūb ibn Isḥāq al-KindīKindī's description stands thus: "[and the] length [of the ‛ūd] will be: thirty-six joint fingers – with good thick fingers – and the total will amount to three ashbār.
And its width: fifteen fingersAnd its depth seven and a half fingersAnd the measurement of the width of the bridge with the remainder behind: six fingersRemains the length of the strings: thirty fingers and on these strings take place the division and the partition, because it is the sounding [or "the speaking"] lengthThis is why the width must be [of] fifteen fingers as it is the half of this length.
Similarly for the depth, seven fingers and a half and this is the half of the width and the quarter of the length [of the strings]And the neck must be one third of the length [of the speaking strings] and it is: ten fingersRemains the vibrating body: twenty fingersAnd that the back (soundbox) be well rounded and its "thinning"(kharţ) [must be done] towards the neck, as if it had been a round body drawn with a compass which was cut in two in order to extract two ‛ūds". In Pre-Islamic Arabia and Mesopotamia, the oud had only three strings, with a small musical box and a long neck without any tuning pegsBut during the Islamic era the musical box was enlarged, a fourth string was added, and the base for the tuning pegs (Bunjuk) or pegbox was added.
In the first centuries of (pre-Islamic) Arabian civilisation, the oud had four courses (one string per course — double-strings came later), tuned in successive fourthsCurt Sachs said they were called (from lowest to highest pitch) bamm, maṭlaṭ, maṭnā and zīr"As early as the ninth century" a fifth string ḥād ("sharp") was sometimes added "to make the range of two octaves complete"It was highest in pitch, placed lowest in its positioning in relation to other stringsModern tuning preserves the ancient succession of fourths, with adjunctions (lowest or highest courses), which may be tuned differently following regional or personal preferences.
Additional Information About Antwerp
Antwerp (; Dutch: Antwerpen [ˈɑntʋɛrpə(n)]; French: Anvers [ɑ̃vɛʁs]; Spanish: Amberes) is a city in Belgium, and is the capital of Antwerp province in the Flemish RegionWith a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, and with a metropolitan area housing around 1,200,000 people, it is the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels in Belgium.Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the river's Westerschelde estuaryIt is about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Brussels, and about 15 kilometres (9 mi) south of the Dutch borderThe Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking second in Europe and within the top 20 globallyThe city is also known for its diamond industry and trade. Both economically and culturally, Antwerp is and has long been an important city in the Low Countries, especially before and during the Spanish Fury (1576) and throughout and after the subsequent Dutch Revolt.