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Author: Subject: Does anyone play cross legged on the floor?
Oud Lover

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[*] posted on 2-23-2018 at 05:08 PM
Does anyone play cross legged on the floor?

Forgive me if this has already been discussed elsewhere, just wondering if there is a big difference between using a chair and a footstool verses sitting cross legged on the ground. Do I understand correctly that this is the traditional way to play?
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Oud Junkie

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[*] posted on 2-24-2018 at 01:36 AM

Abaddi Aljoher plays a lot cross legged. I suppose play however way you are comfortable with as long as you don't hurt your back!

Onwards and upwards

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Oud Junkie

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[*] posted on 2-24-2018 at 10:16 AM

Yes, that was the traditional sitting position for centuries. Chairs as we know them were not in use in the Middle East before the nineteenth century, when the spread of Western lifestyles first brought them into common use in the region (along with other European domestic furnishings, such as bedsteads, free-standing cabinets, and tables). Until then people sat cross-legged on mats laid on the floor or on upholstered divans. They were accustomed from early age to sitting in this way for extended periods and engaging in all kinds of elaborate activities. Drawings and manuscript illuminations from the premodern period show musicians performing while sitting cross-legged, and similarly scribes in government offices drawing up documents, students attending classes, shopkeepers and artisans carrying on their business in the markets, etc. For them this was the normal way of sitting, and their lower-body muscles and upper-body posture were adapted to it.

If you have grown up sitting on chairs you may find it a bit of a challenge getting used to sitting in this position so that it's not a physical strain that interferes with your playing. Certain performances of religious and folk music, especially in rural areas, still involve musicians sitting on the floor, but in general oud players in the region today use chairs and foot rests, and clearly don't consider the past practice of sitting cross-legged as a required or preferred aspect of performing on the instrument.
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Eric Stern Music
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[*] posted on 2-26-2018 at 11:15 AM

I think this has been addressed somewhere in the forums and what I remember is that someone said that IF you sit on the floor and play, always sit on a cushion as it's better for your back over time. Seems like good advice to me.
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Oud Junkie

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[*] posted on 2-26-2018 at 11:29 AM

...just like this guy, on cushion!
{on a side note, wow this girl plays good darbuka!]
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