“Ultimately, in this book the oud is never just an oud, but rather a starting point for thinking about musicians and instrument-makers, music, societies, and cultures.”
—From The Oud
player and research professor of intercultural performing arts at Codarts University, Rotterdam, and Leiden University, Netherlands, offers the complex story of the
that has been a mainstay in Middle Eastern and North African music for soloists and in musical ensembles for centuries. Paired with photos, illustrations and other graphics, the book chronicles the evolution of the instrument. The `ud’s earliest origins are murky, but researchers agree it is likely a descendant of lute instruments depicted in first- and second-century-CE Gandharan Empire sculptures of South Asia. After appearing in Persia as the
, the instrument spread to the Arab world by the sixth century CE. By the following century, people were playing `uds at the court of the caliphs. Beckles Willson’s multifaceted exploration of the instrument, details everything from `ud construction to its most legendary players. Readers can even hear their distinctive styles through the included QR codes, bringing the world of `uds to life.