Saudi Arabia: The King of the Oud

Saudi musician, Abadi Al-Johar, is known as the ‘King of Oud’  Oud in this case is not referring to incense but rather the musical instrument.  It’s name, oud, is derived from the Arabic meaning a thin piece of wood.  The oud makes a unique sound due to its short neck which has no frets.

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 (Arabic for feather). Modern strings are made of steel wound over nylon. The instrument has a warm timbre, low tessatura, and is often intricately decorated.

The sound of an oud is similar to me of a steel guitar.  Here’s a short clip of Abadi Al-Johar playing the oud at a concert in Dubai:


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