Early ’Ud



Davide Rebuffa has kindly supplied the following information:

This picture of the 'ud is from the book of Safi al Din 'Abd al-Mu'min b. Fakr al-Urmawi known as “Kitab al-adwar”, it was written in 1333-34. It is an important arab treatise on musical theory (he also wrote onother one) and was written while Safi ad-Din was working in the library of the Caliph al-Mustassim.

The oldest known copy ot the kitab al-adwar was finished in 633/1236 (Ms Nuruosmaniye 3653) when the author was only 20 years old.! (did he actually write it?) Chronologically it is the first scientific treatise on music after that of Ibn Sina.

The kitab al-adwar contains a lot of information on the 5 course 'ud which, at that time, was still a new and little practiced lute. The part related to the musical theory is very interesting because it explains clearly the 12 maqam (modes) and the division of the octave in 17 parts. He also provides the proportions between length and width of the various parts of the 'ud.

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