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

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: What strings did they use in the era of Farid al Atrash, Riad al-Sunbati etc.?
fameeyyoud
Oud Lover
**




Posts: 16
Registered: 2-11-2020
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-24-2021 at 05:57 AM
What strings did they use in the era of Farid al Atrash, Riad al-Sunbati etc.?


Hey guys!
Im sorry for having asked this question, or at least a similar one, a couple of times before but i just cant stop thinking about it haha!
Basically im trying to achieve as close to Farid al Atrashs sound as i can. Now that i think i got the tuning right i was wondering what strings they used at that era so Farid got this „metallic“ dull low sustain „dry“ kind of sound they used to have in the 50s. Somebody here told me it was gut, but after checking some pictures it looks like all 6 courses looked the same
and also when i called Aquila and asked they said that in the 1938~ they majority switched to nylon strings, so that woule mean Farid used nylon too in the 50s? I doubt that...
What do you guys think? What strings were used at that time?
Thanks a lot in advance!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brian Prunka
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 2658
Registered: 1-30-2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Member Is Offline

Mood: Stringish

[*] posted on 1-24-2021 at 09:05 AM


Nylon was invented in 1935, and as far as I can determine, only became available for instrument strings in mass production in 1947 in New York City. Dupont had the patent for a long time so no one else could produce it.
The middle east would have had much less access to it than the US or even Europe, so it seems extremely unlikely that Farid would have had nylon strings. Though if anyone could get them, it would be a superstar like him. He also traveled to NYC on more than one occasions so he could have gotten some then. If he did, they probably would have just been guitar gauges.

Still, I'd expect that he'd have stuck with gut for most of his classic recordings. You wouldn't be able to tell from a video whether he was using gut or not, I'm not sure what you expected to look different. To the best of my knowledge, oud players through the 50s were still using gut for the most part.





YouTube lessons and resources
______________________

Follow on Instagram
My oud music on YouTube
www.brianprunka.com

My u2u inbox is over capacity, please contact me through my website
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
ameer
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 450
Registered: 9-14-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 1-24-2021 at 09:19 AM


Farid's sound changed quite a bit over the years. Many of his sounds could broadly be classified as gut or gut-like. He was recorded using nylon strings a few times in the late '50s, in interview/ demo recordings and in at least one public concert. In concerts in the '60s he used something different that sounded gut-like but was brighter. Whether that was because of the strings or the recording equipment I don't know. By 1972 he was using nylon in public concerts. Even among his gut-like sounds there is enough variation that I wouldn't be surprised to hear he was using different brands. For Sunbati I have no idea. He doesn't have what I would call the typical gut sound in his early recordings, but I don't know what other options he would have had. Maybe gut strings respond more to the nature of the instrument than nylon strings?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brian Prunka
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 2658
Registered: 1-30-2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Member Is Offline

Mood: Stringish

[*] posted on 1-24-2021 at 10:19 AM


That's very interesting, Ameer!

Germans were also producing Perlon, which is a plastic similar to DuPont nylon (it's classified as a type of nylon). It's possible that this was being used for oud strings. It was (and is) used as a core for violin strings instead of gut. It has slightly different properties than DuPont nylon.






YouTube lessons and resources
______________________

Follow on Instagram
My oud music on YouTube
www.brianprunka.com

My u2u inbox is over capacity, please contact me through my website
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
ameer
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 450
Registered: 9-14-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 1-24-2021 at 12:52 PM


Are you aware of it being available for oud or the like? I'm curious if it has any effect.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brian Prunka
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 2658
Registered: 1-30-2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Member Is Offline

Mood: Stringish

[*] posted on 1-24-2021 at 03:19 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ameer  
Are you aware of it being available for oud or the like? I'm curious if it has any effect.


I'm not sure, and even if it is it might not specifically be labeled as such.

You could try to just buy it from a plastics company, see what filament sizes are available. Generically nowadays it is labeled as nylon 6 (as opposed to standard DuPont Nylon which is nylon 6/6) since it's no longer under patent (Perlon is a trade name).

I used to see it sometimes listed as fret material for lutes etc. that had tied-on frets. Here is a material comparison for the variation in specs:
https://www.essentracomponents.com/en-gb/news/guides/the-differences...

Biggest differences: less dense, less durable, lower tensile strength, higher moisture absorption. These are all reasons why it is generally less desirable for something like a fishing line, but maybe it has a positive impact on the sound that would be a worthwhile tradeoff.

It looks like it is produced, but finding a consumer-level purchase option may be a challenge. Here is a company that makes it in .025in, .030in and .040 in diameters, which should be good for c' g and d.
http://www.engmono.com/nylon-6-66-data-table/






YouTube lessons and resources
______________________

Follow on Instagram
My oud music on YouTube
www.brianprunka.com

My u2u inbox is over capacity, please contact me through my website
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
SamirCanada
Moderator
******




Posts: 3393
Registered: 6-4-2004
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-24-2021 at 03:57 PM


Probably was gut strings. But the oud itself has to do with the sound. Listen to old ouds from the masters even with standard wound nylon strings they don't sound as metallic. Strings are a factor so is the oud and the hand /risha
https://youtu.be/-uswCsB7QDc
https://youtu.be/XzD6kEUVlGk

There is a new brand available called hannabach see more info here :

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKS9n2ynj8p/?igshid=mhsj7mmdp6v5

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJYGrLDH_Sk/?igshid=ehrov07lxz79




@samiroud Instagram
samiroudmaker@gmail.com
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brian Prunka
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 2658
Registered: 1-30-2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Member Is Offline

Mood: Stringish

[*] posted on 1-24-2021 at 06:01 PM


https://schneidermusik.de/shop1/product_info.php/products_id/124384/...

131,89 €

https://www.amazon.com/Hannabach-2500-Oud-11-string-Scale/dp/B013PSC...

$186.44

These have been around a long time, they make them for Rabih Abou-Khalil. I asked Hannabach about them years ago for OudStrings.com but figured that no one was going to pay over $150 per set for strings.






YouTube lessons and resources
______________________

Follow on Instagram
My oud music on YouTube
www.brianprunka.com

My u2u inbox is over capacity, please contact me through my website
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
ameer
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 450
Registered: 9-14-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 1-24-2021 at 06:27 PM


Here is Farid using what sound very much like nylon strings, apparently in 1958. https://youtu.be/_CUQIVk1uxY
View user's profile View All Posts By User
SamirCanada
Moderator
******




Posts: 3393
Registered: 6-4-2004
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-25-2021 at 04:42 AM


Yeah Brian.
I have a hard time buying pyramid lutes although they are phenomenal. I also find I end up keeping the same strings on for way to long when they are so expensive to replace.




@samiroud Instagram
samiroudmaker@gmail.com
View user's profile View All Posts By User
saad
Oud Lover
**




Posts: 10
Registered: 6-3-2015
Member Is Offline

Mood: outoftune

[*] posted on 1-26-2021 at 08:23 AM


Hi,
Prices aside, how are these Hannabach strings expected to perform on 58.5 and 60 cm scales, especially if tuned 1/2 step or one step lower? They are claimed to be for 63.5 cm scale with medium tension.

http://www.hannabach.com/en/strings/2500-aoud
View user's profile View All Posts By User
jdowning
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 3476
Registered: 8-2-2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 1-26-2021 at 06:25 PM


In 1965 I had the good fortune to be posted to Cairo to assist in the commissioning of two steam turbine generators at the Cairo South power station at Helwan. During my brief stay I took the opportunity to purchase an old oud from a prominent music store in the centre of Cairo. I also purchased a spare set of strings for the oud. To my surprise the strings were gut trebles with wound basses (on silk filament?) - surprised because as a classical guitar player gut strings that were commonly used prior to WW2 had been replaced by nylon trebles and wound basses on nylon filament during the 1950's.
Unfortunately I no longer have those strings for comparison but as I recall they were of French manufacture.

So if these strings were representative of the oud strings that were available at that time in Cairo then it is likely that gut strings were the type used by Farid al Atrash and other masters?

By the time my interests had moved from guitar to lute in the early 1970's, replica lutes were then being strung in nylon - Pyramid being a popular brand. Of course now things have gone full cycle with the availability of good quality (and good sounding) gut strings for lute (at a price!). I wonder when did oudists generally make the switch to nylon stringing? For classical guitarists in the West (like Segovia and Bream) it was during the 1950's? Or did many oud players - even today - prefer the tonalities of gut over nylon so did not make the change?

As a lute player I only use gut for frets (superior to nylon that causes excessive string wear) and prefer Pyramid brand nylon (when I am not using experimental strings that I have made from silk or synthetic filaments)
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brian Prunka
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 2658
Registered: 1-30-2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Member Is Offline

Mood: Stringish

[*] posted on 1-27-2021 at 08:42 AM


Quote: Originally posted by saad  
Hi,
Prices aside, how are these Hannabach strings expected to perform on 58.5 and 60 cm scales, especially if tuned 1/2 step or one step lower? They are claimed to be for 63.5 cm scale with medium tension.

http://www.hannabach.com/en/strings/2500-aoud


I wouldn't expect them to perform well on a shorter instrument, especially if they were tuned down.





YouTube lessons and resources
______________________

Follow on Instagram
My oud music on YouTube
www.brianprunka.com

My u2u inbox is over capacity, please contact me through my website
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
saad
Oud Lover
**




Posts: 10
Registered: 6-3-2015
Member Is Offline

Mood: outoftune

[*] posted on 1-28-2021 at 07:46 PM


Brian, thank you for your reply and input.
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top

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