Arab Instruments Forum

Oud => Advice, Tips and Questions Regarding the Oud => Topic started by: Light on December 14, 2015, 08:20:01 AM

Title: Need an answer ! - *Mod: Arabic vs. Turkish Oud
Post by: Light on December 14, 2015, 08:20:01 AM
Hi all,

I have a few question regarding Arabic and Turkish Oud. What's the difference between "Arabic" and "Turkish" tuning? Can I tune my Arabic oud to Turkish tuning? Can I tune my Turkish oud to Arabic Tuning?

Thanks in advance  :)

Title: Re: Need an answer !
Post by: Blue on December 16, 2015, 10:55:02 AM
Hi thanks for a great question. The Oud is an ancient musical instrument with a long and rich history; one that stretches back many, many centuries and extends beyond the Middle-Eastern world from which it originates.  This distinctive sounding stringed instrument has more recently been experiencing a rise in popularity – and in places around the world, especially the West.  No doubt, the Oud’s rich tonal character and exotic sound have enchanted the growing number of musicians who are discovering ways to incorporate its melodic potential into today’s diverse genres of ethnic, fusion, and other “world” music.
Title: Re: Need an answer !
Post by: googly on January 02, 2016, 01:06:58 PM
Well you have asked a great question man! As regards strings, the differences between Arabic and Turkish-style ouds can be be very confusing. Both styles can share the same scale length, soundboard thickness, soundboard response and playability. Basically, the only single factor differentiating Turkish ouds and the Arabic variety is the fact that Turkish ouds are tuned one whole step above Arabic ouds. The tuning patterns are the generally same (mainly 4ths--see below). Since Turkish tuning is higher, it will increase the tension that the strings exert on the face of the oud.  For this reason, it is not advisable to tune an Arabic oud up to Turkish tuning.  Doing so can severely damage the oud. If for some reason you wanted to tune an Arabic oud up a whole step, you would need a custom set of strings.  However, it is perfectly fine to tune a Turkish oud down to Arabic tuning, although the resulting string tension may be too low on standard string sets.  A custom set might be necessary for ideal sound.
Title: Re: Need an answer !
Post by: riaz on January 04, 2016, 11:16:45 AM
Hi, remember that tuning patterns vary from person to person, and according to maqam (musical mode or scale). Courses are always tuned in 4ths, with the lowest two courses tuned according to maqam and personal taste (not necesarily in 4ths, although some Turkish-style players are tuning their entire oud in 4ths. These two courses are often tuned up or down one whole step depending on maqam. This poses a bit of a problem for pre-made sets, since the tension on these lower two courses must be set to perform well across the whole-step tuning variation. Generally, I'm of the opinion that it is better to choose the tension of these two courses based on the tuning used most frequently, then split the difference. This should give satisfactory results for custom sets. For pre-made sets, it's generally better to choose based on the lower tuning, so the tension will increase rather than decrease when changing the tuning.