Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ouds and lutes

The oud is the oldest lute in existence still played today. The arabic word means wood, and indeed the two most common styles found today follow design patterns of many hundred of years. The photograph above shows from left to right, a nacar ornamented egiptian oud compared with a lightly build turkish oud. Both are the commonest ouds found in Chile where only three well known arab folk groups use them. Perhaps the best known are the oldest arabic Oriente folk band whose syrian oudist is better known for a tv program and the Nagan band.
In Chile, Nicanor Oporto from Valdivia is the most acknowledged maker of handmade lutes in the country. In Argentina, there are a number of makers, among them Lutheria Verdi make repairs and build renaissance style instruments.