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The Oud Music

The tradition of oud Music

Oud music holds the line of a very long tradition in the Mediterranean and the Middle Eastern regions. It is a stringed instrument with an ancient history, especially important in countries like Iraq where there is a common belief that the oud is Iraq’s soul. A tradition that has completely changed in the area since the first gulf war started in the nineties.
Once a place in ancient times at the heart of the tradition, but today people rarely play oud music in public for fear of angering militants against secular music. Although oud music was fashionable in a range of periods, in the last part of the 19th century it made itself known as one of the chief instruments of classical Ottoman music. Oud music covers a vast geographical area ranging from northern parts of Africa to the Persian Gulf region. Its musical heritage originated in antiquity. During the height of the Islamic Empire it achieved increasing style. Since the advancement of Islam, oud music has been continuously reshaped by intellectual, cultural, political, and religious principles.

Healing powers of oud music

Throughout its long history oud music has been praised for its healing powers by healers, musicians and religious groups. Its timeless allure has seen from Muslims to Jews using oud music for prayers and healing for hundreds of years. The healing effects of oud music are believed to be because of its ability to calm and revive human hearts and spirits.

Oud music meets the west

As Europeans traveled to new lands during the Middle Ages oud music became known widely to the Western world. Oud music was adopted by musicians locally throughout the west and given a new name - the lute. Until Arabs brought oud music to Europe, European minstrels had primarily played harp like instruments. As in popular music there is often a most popular instrument like the guitar today and the violin in the old American west. In Arabic culture the most popular instrument by any measure is the oud. This has led to the synonymous use of Arabic music and music of the Middle East with the term oud music.
In these days, with the rise in popularity of world music oud music can be heard all over the world. Furthermore, a lot of popular western artists use this amazing instrument to create a fusion between traditional world music (oud music) and modern sound. The best example for this breath taking combination is "Desert rose" by Sting, which ingeniously brings together modern rock and traditional Palestinian oud music.