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ALAMI
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[*] posted on 1-19-2014 at 09:26 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Alfaraby  
Quote: Originally posted by ALAMI  

Bashraf Rast
This the Middle East...... too.

Alami dear, I can't stop listening to this, especially Mostafa's oud. Oh dear, what an oud & what a player.
It's often asked what is an "Arabian oud" ? Well, this is a very good example of how an Arabian oud should be played and sound like.
Thanks neighbor :)
Regards to Mostafa, Ahmads & Ghassan.

Yours indeed
Alfaraby

Mustapha has really become one great oudist. Usually he plays ouds made by Albert Mansour.
When I think that theorically, I could take my car for a 2 hours drive and pay you- and your beautiful ouds- a visit, I'd bring the old Arja oud, and a bottle of homemade Arak, with me, I am sure you'll love it...Practically, it might be easier to go to New Zealand.
In 2006, my neighborhood took a heavy air attack, doors and windows shattered, glass and debris and smoke were everywhere, my first reflex was to go and check my ouds...
Will we see a better Middle East in our lifetime?
Take care neighbor
Alami
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Alfaraby
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[*] posted on 1-20-2014 at 12:37 AM


Quote: Originally posted by ALAMI  
When I think that theoretically, I could take my car for a 2 hours drive and pay you- and your beautiful ouds- a visit, I'd bring the old Arja oud, and a bottle of homemade Arak, with me, I am sure you'll love it...

You've brutally "killed" me ! I'd make the tabbuleh & mazat myself :)
My late grandpa used to tell us stories about how he & his fellows had spent the night in Beirut and came back to Haifa by dawn ! OMG !
The invitation shall be open for good ... hoping that the current situation shall not last that long

Yours indeed
Alfaraby




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[*] posted on 1-20-2014 at 07:59 AM


3alam zift, zbeleh...
http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/114880-syria-jihadists-impose-ta...

On the ohter hand, big thumb up for that peice ya Alami, Mustafa is also one of my favorites. His honest playing and personality embodies the example of what a professional musician should strive for.

y3atikon el 3afieh shabab.




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jdowning
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[*] posted on 1-20-2014 at 08:00 AM


As a freshly graduated engineer in the early 1960's I lived and worked in Egypt on an important project south of Cairo that was to be of significant benefit to the Egyptian economy. I was in daily contact with 'grass roots' Egyptians at the construction site and not once, as a Westerner, did I experience any hatred or prejudice towards me just because I was British (unlike my experiences later in life when working in Scotland and Quebec). This was a difficult period for the Egyptian people following the 'Suez Crisis' when Western trade sanctions were in force and a lot of what might be regarded as essentials were difficult to obtain.
Religious beliefs never played a part either and I had little idea or interest about the religion of the people that I worked with and vice versa.
I felt privileged to have had this experience - and to have heard for the first time traditional Arabic music and song performed in its 'natural' environment.

Now that was about 50 years ago and to judge from the usual sensationalist international media reports that we are bombarded with on a daily basis, times would appear to have changed considerably - and, sadly, not for the betterment of Middle Eastern society or the rest of the world.

There is no doubt that outside forces can adversely affect a musician's enthusiasm or ability to play an instrument but this is nothing new. Here is a manuscript of a poem from the mid 16th C by the Englishman Sir Thomas Wyatt entitled 'Blame not my Lute' that, taken at face value (there are deeper meanings by interpretation), describes his difficulties in not being able to play the lute properly due to audience pressure (and not because of his lute). He was happily, in the end, able to overcome this problem by ignoring these outside influences that were preying on his mind.
The attached pages of the original manuscript will be difficult for most to follow - being written in 16th C phonetic English script. However, for those interested, a Google search will find ample examples providing more details of the text and interpretation of the poem.

Good luck!





[file]30109[/file] [file]30111[/file]
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bulerias1981
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[*] posted on 1-20-2014 at 06:24 PM


I've played Mustafa's oud when I was in Beirut. He uses an oud from Albert Mansour with gut strings. He has a great disdain for "plastic" strings.. and considers himself traditiona Arabic, but with a new flavor, not having to import anything.. which I think is accurate about him.



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charlie oud
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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 05:23 AM


I had no idea this thread would reveal such thought, feeling and personal philosophies when I started it. It has been comforting to know others have had their moments of feeling exiled from some kinds of music for non musical reasons. It has been even more comforting to hear of their return back to their music and instrument, with a restored outlook.
I would like to thank Mike and the administrators for letting this thread run because it has clearly made for some uncomfortable reading in places but has ultimately shown a compassion toward the oud, it's music and it's meaning, it's power and it's purpose. It also shows a healthy attitude in those who have contributed.
When I next play my oud I will think of you all. Thanks guys. :bowdown:




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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 05:35 AM


John - this continues off topic but when you say that Mustafa uses gut strings and does not import anything do you know where in the middle east he obtains his strings and the name of the company that makes them - or any other information about his strings. For example does he use metal wound strings for the basses or just plain gut throughout?
I ask because I have yet to find evidence of any middle eastern string makers which, of course, does not mean there aren't any. The oud strings that I found that were available in Cairo in the early 1960's were gut trebles and silk core wound basses. They were imported - manufactured in France.
Instrument string making - being a highly specialised trade - alternative sources other than the well known Western makers might be of interest to forum members?
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 08:00 AM


I think John was referring to musical influences, not strings. Interesting that he uses gut strings—they are very expensive and don't last very long, something that would seem to discourage a lot of people.



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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 08:47 AM


Not so, in my experience, Brian. I've played lutes and historical guitars for 20 years or more, and have a lot of experience with gut strings. Yes, the first string might break quickly, and most users put a nylgut or nylon string on the first. But the rest can last for years. I have a set of gut and silk strings on a classical guitar which have been on for two years, and which show no signs of breaking.

But you must buy good gut. I use Aquila. In my experience, La Bella gut strings are the worst.
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 09:15 AM


I would think that the first and second string would make the most difference in terms of sound.

Also, playing with a plectrum I expect leads to a different string life expectancy than playing with the fingers/fingernails.

I'm glad to hear that gut strings have lasted a long time for you. Have you tried gut from Savarez and Pyramid? How does it compare to Aquila? I discussed getting gut from Aquila for oud but Mimmo did not want to be bothered.




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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 10:08 AM


Hi Brian,

I've tried both Savarez and Pyramid. The former are better than the latter, but neither compare with Aquila. I must state categorically that I have no association with the company.
Some companies use bull gut, which is tougher, but I haven't tried it. I think one of the companies has the humorous name of Toro, but I might be imagining that!

I don't play with nails, just finger flesh, so I agree that both nails and plectra might do more damage, and shorten the life expectancy. So, there is probably some truth in your assertion.
Cheers,
Rob
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charlie oud
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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 10:24 AM


(We're off topic now but I'm a little relieved by that as I seem to have started a heavy thread)
Yes, I agree with you Rob. I too used gut on my 6 course renaissance lute some years ago now and I remember them lasting a very long time, and I could not find any modern string to sound as sweet and full. The 'chanterelle' (single 1st course) was always a problem with gut even way back in the 16th century. The open 1st course pitch of 'g' equivalent to the 7th position 1st course on the oud meant this string needed to be really thin, But if you got a good one this could also last a very long time.
Brian (apart from being an outstanding player) you are our finest ambassador/supplier for oud strings and options. It's a shame Aquilla were not interested in doing an oud gut set. I hope some time a company will develop a standard gut set for the oud. Keep at em Brian !!!




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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 10:29 AM


Good post, Charlie. I'm enjoying the twists and turns of this unusual thread :)
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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 11:17 AM


So are there any gut string makers in the middle eastern regions?

Beef gut seems to be used by some Western historical gut string makers but was never considered to be a suitable material in the past (17th C) as it was too 'flabby' and weak compared to the preferred fresh intestines of sheep, felines or canines that did not require splitting - as beef intestines do - for making the thinnest strings.
However these days one must compromise and make do with what is commercially available (sausage casings soaked in preservative chemicals) I suppose if intending to make gut instrument strings.
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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 11:28 AM


There have been human conflicts since the beginning of times... except we hear and see more of them because of the modern media. There are people who perpetuate hatred between people, and this is fueled by ignorance of other people's customs or culture.

People who have lived in different countries, and have been the object of discrimination because of their culture, religion or race understand how futile these conflicts are.

There will always be people doing stupid things, but there are also a LOT more people doing good things.

I have stayed and lived in several countries during the past 30 years or so, I can tell you there are good people everywhere!

Best thing is to focus on the good things and pray that all the people who do bad see the light and stop hurting others.

Peace to all! And long live the music.


PS. I started taking Arabic lessons: fascinating language! That will be my fourth spoken language...





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[*] posted on 1-21-2014 at 11:08 PM


hey guys....didn't even know you could still get gut strings for anything. so are there any gut strings made for oud and where do you get them?
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[*] posted on 1-22-2014 at 06:53 AM


I have some gut strings available for the c', g, and d courses, they are made by Pyramid and Savarez.



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[*] posted on 1-22-2014 at 01:38 PM


Hi Charlie

How are you doing buddy :)

What an interesting thread and a can of worms. I don't have this 'problem' myself, I just would like to be a better player :) which is enough to be getting on with !!! but what a musical adventure. OK Charlie here goes, you have a lot of really good UK oud buddies, loads of amazing and diverse musicians here on this forum completely and no doubt unfeasibly obsessed by this magical instrument and completely supportive of the rest of us.

Maybe tell yourself of all the negative things that go on in other places in the West (ie xenophobia, bigotry, etc etc)and remind yourself that you perhaps wouldn't have the same issue with say the guitar or piano because they are played there ... it's just what you attach to the instrument, not the instrument. It is true the oud isn't just an Islamic instrument but Islam isn't a problem either - extremism and hate is down to the individual ultimately and like everything else not restricted to one geographic zone.

The oud is a somewhat magical resonating chamber (to say the least) with a unique voice expressed through diverse players and music ... just add your voice and you'll be fine - I always enjoy hearing you play btw ... see you soon at the next meeting ?

Cheers

Leon
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[*] posted on 1-22-2014 at 03:33 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Ararat66  

The oud is a somewhat magical resonating chamber (to say the least) with a unique voice expressed through diverse players and music ... just add your voice and you'll be fine - I always enjoy hearing you play btw ... see you soon at the next meeting ?


There are UK oud meetings?
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charlie oud
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[*] posted on 1-23-2014 at 05:36 AM


Hi Leon
Great to hear from you buddy, I was wondering if or when one of the gang would see or respond to my post. Indeed you and others have made constructive and valid points.
I feel kind of bad for starting this post as perhaps people will see me differently now, think I'm a bit dodgy, xenophobic or anti something or other. Everyone has contributed with measured and rational responses.
An instrument cannot be held responsible for anything, neither can a gun, or even a god. Responsibility for humanity rests squarely upon the shoulders of all human beings the world over. I accept this responsibility as an individual. I don't see my 'opinion' as being in any way important.
Give my love to Blondie, she swings, I enjoy your playing and hope to see you sometime this year. Thanks to all of you who have commented in this thread.




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charlie oud
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[*] posted on 1-23-2014 at 08:29 AM


Quote: Originally posted by shanfara  
Hi all. What a fascinating discussion. This is my first post in this forum. As I live in the US but was born in Egypt (and just came back from a visit a few weeks ago), I can say that it's not surprising that current events in the Middle East can intermingle with the music. Regardless of what the news are (or rather what the media portrays to you what they want), I think it's a great thing that you are feeling "negative" feelings toward the music.

Bear with me on this for a bit. I'm not a professional musician but I know that they teach in music theory that the concept of a scale in European music vs. other cultures is very different. In Indian music for example, the Raga (the equivalent of a scale in Western music) does not just represent a number of notes put together to form a melody. Rather, it is much more complex as it contains within it the element of time. A certain Raga should be used in the spring while another in winter; another Raga should be used in the morning while another in the evening and so on. In Arabic music, it is argued that scales (maqamat) have an element of emotions in them. One possible reason why Arabic music does not evolve very often (every 1000 yrs or so) relative to say European classical music (evolves on the order of 100-150 yrs) is that each maqam in Arabic music is somehow tied to an emotion (happiness, sadness, etc) while the major and minor scales in European music do not have that extra "value." Since emotions of humans do not change very often throughout history, so supposedly has Arabic music remained a bit "stable."

So, maybe it is a good thing that you're feeling something when trying to play; whether negative or positive it doesn't matter. Try to reflect the feeling into the music. One of the most beautiful modern examples I've heard applying this is for the famous Naseer Shamma playing a piece called: Al Amiriya, which as I understand is a neighborhood in Baghdad that was leveled to the ground by US warplanes during the war. Note: read the translation of what he says at the beginning if you'd like in the comments. [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7a_K6kQ8p0
[/url]
This is a very insightful reflection, pulling together the more musical strands of this thread and clarifying the emotional connections. Thank you shanfara and welcome to the forum.




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Ararat66
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[*] posted on 1-23-2014 at 08:30 AM


Hi Charlie

I don't think folk will see you in a negative light ... a sensitive soul maybe but you wouldn't be alone. Blondie is a bit of a flirt I have to say ... and getting louder this year for some reason !!!

Cheers

Leon
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[*] posted on 1-23-2014 at 08:44 AM


Thanks mate, appreciate that. Tell blondie she can flirt with me any time !!!! (to translate for all, the 'Blondie' we are referring to is Leon's lovely Oud) :airguitar:



Best Wishes, Charlie
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