Mike's Oud Forums
Not logged in [Login - Register]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Syrian Ouds
NafQan
Oud Admirer
*




Posts: 8
Registered: 11-21-2019
Location: Syria
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 11-22-2019 at 12:18 PM
Syrian Ouds


In this post I will write about my experience with Syrian Ouds. And review some of Ouds I bought from Syria.
In the last month I went to Syria. As I am just starting to learn to play the oud, I wanted to get the method of Abdul Rahman Jabaqji for learning it. I searched after him, and discovered that his son Haytham has moved from Aleppo to Latakia and is now trying to revive the house of music that was founded by his father. I was lucky to find hardcover copies of his father's book in his center.
Having secured the book, I started looking at Oud makers in Syria. For my surprise I found that nearly every carpenter in Syria is now claiming to be an oud maker!
After visiting many so called makers, I found out that three workshops are quite distinguished by the quality of their Ouds: The worshop of Sabsaby & Son in Damascus, the workshop of Zeryab (Selka/Khalifa) in Damascus as well, and the Workshop of the sons of Jamil Haddad in Aleppo who use the brand name Faraby. I bought Ouds from those 3 workshops, I also inspected Ouds by another maker from Aleppo called Sukkar, but I did not find people offering finished Ouds from his workshop.
From what I experienced, those makers are the ones who make the best quality Ouds in Syria. Zeryab's workshop who claims to have inherited the tradition from Khalifa family, seems to be the most industrial one. They have a big mechanized workshop in Basateen Barzeh district in Damascus. Most of the ornamentations are done on laser cutting machines and produce in a commercial manner.
Faraby workshop is smaller in scale than Zeryab, but they follow the same designs and principles but gave more of a personal touch in their products.
I also visited Sabsaby workshop and it looked small compared to other workshops, but it was the most workshop with attention to details and less industrialized.
From Faraby, I bought a full size training Oud with a fixed bridge that has a spruce soundboard and wallnut neck and body with Iraqi style oval Rosettes.
From Zeryab I bought a 3/4 sized training Oud identical to the Faraby one but with a cedar soundboard. Both Ouds have a small screw in the neck to change its inclination to the body.
From Sabsaby, I bought a Munir Bashir style moveable bridge Oud with Cedar soundboard and wallnut body and neck.
In my next replies I will provide detailed reviews of these Ouds and hopefully I can make clear sound recordings for them.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
MattOud
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 199
Registered: 1-18-2017
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: Feeling Pretty G'Oud

[*] posted on 11-25-2019 at 06:07 AM


...appreciate your doing this!
I really like syrian oud's. I have 2 currently(khalifeh and Sukkar).
They both sound great.
I have also owned recently a zaher khalifeh(7 COURSE) but ended up selling locally. It was also very beautiful.


I think you have homed in on some really good luthiers. Sabsaby makes really nice sounding Ouds.
Looking forward to some pics and sound clips!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Badra
Oud Maniac
****




Posts: 71
Registered: 2-26-2006
Location: NW USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 11-26-2019 at 09:30 AM


Very cool. Thanks for the information. Would love to hear more details about your experiences shopping for the ouds in Syria. Such as how the process goes. I'm also curious as to how much ouds are selling for there. I have only been oud shopping in the Middle East once, that was in Cairo. In Syria, with its deep oud history, I have this image of a few old men in outdoor cafe's playing oud and singing old songs. Any more info appreciated. Thanks.
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
NafQan
Oud Admirer
*




Posts: 8
Registered: 11-21-2019
Location: Syria
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 12-31-2019 at 11:17 PM


Happy New year to All.

Today I will talk about the Zeryab oud.

This is a plain Oud manufactured in July 2019; made out of Damascene walnut wood and the soundboard from cedar. The neck is 18.5 cm, and the total length of the string is 55.5 cm.









I installed LaBella Strings on this Oud and tuned it F2-F5. I left the strings a couple of weeks to rest in place and adjust to the tension then created a crude SoundFont from audio samples recorded from them. The SoundFont can be found here.

With this SoundFont, I used MuseScore to record a few music sheets, then exported them to mp3 format.
In the links below you will find music pieces synthesized using the sounds sampled from this oud so you can hear the music this instrument makes: (right click & open in a new tab)

Synthesized Masar by Trio Joubran - Kurd A

Synthesized Inta Omry by Mohammed AbdulWahab - Kurd A

Although this is a training Oud made for students, but I think that the sounds it produces are very gentle and smooth, the volume is not very high though.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
MattOud
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 199
Registered: 1-18-2017
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: Feeling Pretty G'Oud

[*] posted on 1-1-2020 at 06:34 AM


this is really great and thanx for the sf2 sample!!!
I may try this later. I have an UX2 where i can bring in this sample and then apply it to one of my ouds and see how it sounds!
The zeyrab has a nice sweet mellow oud sound. Like it alot!
..next :applause:
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Edward6311
Oud Maniac
****




Posts: 61
Registered: 8-29-2014
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-1-2020 at 07:09 PM


I was in Syria this last summer and visited both Zeryab and Sabsaby. I purchased Ouds from both. For the prices I paid at Zeryab I would have to say they were all amazing but not comparable to Sabsaby Ouds. In my opiion Sabsaby makes the best Ouds in Syria.

Edward
View user's profile View All Posts By User
NafQan
Oud Admirer
*




Posts: 8
Registered: 11-21-2019
Location: Syria
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-2-2020 at 02:24 AM


I completely agree with you Edward. Sabsaby is the best of all the ouds I tried until now in Syria. I am recording it as we speak. The wave spectrum of its pitches is much cleaner that the spectrums of other Ouds. It's volume is much higher than the others. In fact I feel that the Sabsaby Oud can play at concerts without the need for a microphone or any amplification. The quality of the work is also superior to other makers.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brian Prunka
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 2528
Registered: 1-30-2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Member Is Offline

Mood: Stringish

[*] posted on 1-5-2020 at 08:42 AM


Sabsaby must have improved a lot; I played one of his ouds from a number of years ago and it was an acceptable student instrument but by no means a professional oud. I'd be curious to try one of his newer ouds.



View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User

  Go To Top

Powered by XMB
XMB Forum Software © 2001-2011 The XMB Group