You know you're not a true Arabic music fan if you don't love al oud, an ancestor of the guitar. Dating way back in history, the pear-shaped stringed instrument is now commonly used in Persian, Arabic and Turkish music, though it is also found in other types as well .
Translating to wood, specifically thin wood, how much do you really know about the instrument?
1. The inventor of al oud is unknown, however the origin of the name for the musical instrument is believed to be North African
Some believe that the origins of the name dates back to 3,500 years ago in Persia, where it was called Barbat, while others link the origin of the instrument to Iraq.
2. The oldest pictorial record of the instrument dates back 5,000 years ago in northern Syria
3. The oldest surviving oud is thought to be in Brussels, at the Museum of Musical Instruments
4. The neck of the oud has no frets, making its sound so unique
5. The first Arabian musician to ever play oud was Eben Sareeg
6. However, Syrian Farid Al-Atrash became commonly known as "King of the Oud" during the 20th century
7. Today, there are two types of oud: Arabic and Turkish
The major difference between the two is that Arabic ouds are normally larger than the Turkish counterpart, giving it a deeper sound as opposed to the Turkish, which is more shrill. Turkish ouds can also be found in Greece and Armenia.