Traditional music instrument oud

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Added On December 4, 2018

The "Oud" is one of the oldest known musical instruments in the world. The process of making it is considered to be a rare skill.
 
Today, Lifestyles will take a closer look.
 
The Oud is a traditional eastern musical instrument. It is approximately 65 cm long and 35 cm wide, with a protruding oval shaped music box and an arm with extended chords.
 
It is commonly made of durable spruce or cider wood, which allows the instrument to have a pure sound. 
 
SOUNDBITE(ARABIAN): ALI HASNEEN, Palestinian Oud Maker
"I learned to play the oud at home as a child. My father was a musician and he taught me, so I developed a sense to understand where the possible problems could be, and how to fix them. Gradually, I started to borrow my friend's ouds and fix them until I developed a small workshop at home." 
 
Hasneen's current shop in Nablus sits inside a building that is nearly 200 years old. Hasneen says the shop's location makes him he feel more in touch with history.
 
Hasneen works at night when it's quiet so he can get the right sound. Ouds are produced by cutting, bending, and clearing the wood, then putting the pieces together.
 
Hasneen has traveled to Cairo, Baghdad and Damascus over the years to meet with local Oud makers and to learn from them. 
 
However, no one gives away their secrets freely, as the skills are usually handed down from father to son. 
 
The Oud is said to be around 5,000 years old. An ancient manuscript from northern Syria's Akkadian era shows a woman holding an instrument that looks much like it. 
 
Over the centuries, musicians have gradually altered its shape.