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05-Jul-2017 02:16

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He focuses on the longer lutes of Mesopotamia, various types of necked chordophones that developed throughout ancient world: Greek, Egyptian (in the Middle Kingdom), Iranian (Elamite and others), Hittite, Roman, Bulgar, Turkic, Indian, Chinese, Armenian/Cilician cultures.

He names among the long lutes, the pandura and the tanbur Ibn a-ṭ-Ṭaḥḥān adds two possible mythical origins: the first involves the Devil, who would have lured the "People of David" into exchanging (at least part of) their instruments with the oud.

Smith and others argue the long-necked variety should not be called lute at all because it existed for at least a millennium before the appearance of the short-necked instrument that eventually evolved into what is now known the lute.

The long-necked variety also was never called a lute before the twentieth century.

And the neck must be one third of the length [of the speaking strings] and it is: ten fingers. And that the back (soundbox) be well rounded and its "thinning"(kharţ) [must be done] towards the neck, as if it had been a round body drawn with a compass which was cut in two in order to extract two ‛ūds".The ancestor of the oud, the barbat was in use in pre-Islamic Persia.Since the Safavid period, and perhaps because of the name shift from barbat to oud, the instrument gradually lost favor with musicians.Musicologist Richard Dumbrill today uses the word to discuss instruments that existed millennia before the term "lute" was coined.

Dumbrill documented more than 3000 years of iconographic evidence for the lutes in Mesopotamia, in his book The Archaeomusicology of the Ancient Near East.Arabian ouds have a scale length of between 61 cm and 62 cm in comparison to the 58.5 cm scale length for Turkish.