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Author: Subject: Hamza Usta oud Restoration
Dr. Oud
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[*] posted on 11-2-2005 at 04:48 PM


Thanks to everyone for your kind comments and support. This restoration was my greatest challenge (so far) and nearly didn't make it, but now it's a magic oud - one that you just can't put down and suddenly you can play like never before...and loud? It's the loudest I've ever played at any size. John will not be peforming with it to avoid risking any transit damage since it's still very fragile. This big lesson with this project is, (dare I repeat myself?) - It's the braces! If you're fixing up an old oud, be sure to restore those braces and use them again on a new soundboard.



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Peyman
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[*] posted on 11-2-2005 at 05:23 PM


That was a cool video Doc o, but where is the santoor? I was hoping for a jam...
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LeeVaris
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[*] posted on 11-2-2005 at 07:22 PM
Wow


Ok... Doc, we have to talk... awsome. Now if only you can guarantee that I will sound like John if I get one of your ouds...;)



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Lee Varis
varis@varis.com , www.varis.com
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Dr. Oud
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[*] posted on 11-3-2005 at 08:22 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by LeeVaris
Ok... Doc, we have to talk... awsome. Now if only you can guarantee that I will sound like John if I get one of your ouds...;)

All righty, if you bring me another 100 year old Hamza Usta, I'll make that guarantee. If I make a new one, you might have to wait 100 years to get that kind of sound..and if you can play like John...I can't.:shrug:




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LeeVaris
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[*] posted on 11-3-2005 at 07:52 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Oud
All righty, if you bring me another 100 year old Hamza Usta, I'll make that guarantee. If I make a new one, you might have to wait 100 years to get that kind of sound..and if you can play like John...I can't.:shrug:


In 100 years I might be able to play like John... but it'll probably be in the next life. :airguitar:




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Lee Varis
varis@varis.com , www.varis.com
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[*] posted on 11-5-2005 at 10:02 AM


That was a great video Doc. Enjoyed it a lot. The oud turned out fantastic. Thanks again for sharing this project with us all. A very very nice thread indeed.

Be well,
Mike




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Jonathan
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[*] posted on 11-24-2005 at 07:32 AM


Any thoughts, Doc, on whether lining the entire surface of the oud bowl with the parchment paper infused with glue had a significant effect on the sound of the oud?
It sounds fantastic, of course.
It would seem that the reflective surface of the bowl would have some effect on its sound.
I have wondered in the past if coating the inside of an oud bowl with some hard, reflective material would make the sound brighter, louder.




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Dr. Oud
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[*] posted on 11-24-2005 at 09:31 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan
Any thoughts, Doc, on whether lining the entire surface of the oud bowl with the parchment paper infused with glue had a significant effect on the sound of the oud?
It sounds fantastic, of course.
It would seem that the reflective surface of the bowl would have some effect on its sound.
I have wondered in the past if coating the inside of an oud bowl with some hard, reflective material would make the sound brighter, louder.

It's my opinion that the surface would have a negligable affect on the sound. Many great old ouds are rather rough inside. I am convinced that two factors made this oud sound so good. First is the form and location of the braces and sound holes. The second factor is the original braces were re-installed on the new face. Third, I was very fortunate (lucky). Oops that's three - well, I not a mathematician after all.




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[*] posted on 11-25-2005 at 04:38 AM


Is there a source for old spruce? I keep hearing stories of how the old masters used to keep their spruce for decades, and, in some cases, only installed faces from spruce that approached 100 years old--using spruce acquired from their masters, and in turn, acquiring wood for future generations. I don't know how much truth there is to any of that, but I do wonder if there is a source for old spruce for braces, and the top (other than ripping apart old instruments or furniture).



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Dr. Oud
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[*] posted on 11-25-2005 at 06:33 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan
Is there a source for old spruce? I keep hearing stories of how the old masters used to keep their spruce for decades, and, in some cases, only installed faces from spruce that approached 100 years old--using spruce acquired from their masters, and in turn, acquiring wood for future generations. I don't know how much truth there is to any of that, but I do wonder if there is a source for old spruce for braces, and the top (other than ripping apart old instruments or furniture).

There are occaisionally some aged soundboards for sale by some dealers, ( I once found a 50 year old set selling for $250, but the owner declined to send a picture so I passed) but old material is usually traded among luthiers. I recently bought some aged spruce from the Lundberg daughters (after Robert passed away). I also have some face sets I have saved for about 35 years, but these are reserved for my personal restoration projects and not for sale. The Lundberg spruce is reserved for clients (a t extra cost, of course.) I have made an oud (The lemon/koa Turkish size) from 5 pieces from a back brace of an old piano. You just have to search for wood wherever you can find it. The Guild of American Luthiers is a resource (for it's members) and aged wood of sometmes sold at the conferences and echibitions. Other guilds and/or organizations may also be a resource.




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[*] posted on 11-25-2005 at 07:56 AM


Thanks, Doc.



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[*] posted on 11-25-2005 at 11:31 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan
It would seem that the reflective surface of the bowl would have some effect on its sound.
I have wondered in the past if coating the inside of an oud bowl with some hard, reflective material would make the sound brighter, louder.


Isn't this the principle behind the turkish cumbus with aluminum cast bodies?
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[*] posted on 11-25-2005 at 12:17 PM


the cumbus uses a skin to vibrate. Much like a banjo or a even a Kanun. The scale is the only thing that is similar to a oud. The principle behind the cumbus is that it was developed to be affordable for poor musicians and latter musicians that wanted a loud oud to play wedings and outdoors without being amplified.
Now if the reflective body has something to do with the loud sound I dont know but I think its mostly from the high tension against the skin.
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[*] posted on 11-25-2005 at 06:44 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by SamirCanada
the cumbus uses a skin to vibrate. Much like a banjo or a even a Kanun. The scale is the only thing that is similar to a oud. The principle behind the cumbus is that it was developed to be affordable for poor musicians and latter musicians that wanted a loud oud to play wedings and outdoors without being amplified.
Now if the reflective body has something to do with the loud sound I dont know but I think its mostly from the high tension against the skin.

The cumbus is a chordaphone and classified as a lute. On the other hand it has a vibrating membrane, so it is also a membranophone, like a drum. The skin has no braces to create nodes like the wooden soundboard of the oud. The oud is also a chordaphone, the family of stringed instruments which includes membranophones with strings, so the cumbus and the oud are both classified as lutes.

I believe that the cumbus' aluminum body is spun, and does contribute to the volume because it is a homogenous material and therefore acts like a bell. The oud, on the other hand is made of many pieces, glued together, so the body cannot resonate like a bell. It is therfore just a chamber, and the only factor contributing to the sound is the volume or size of the bowel. The sound you hear when you thump the oud bowel id the air vibrating, but the wooden parts are dampened out by the many glue joints.

I thought the cumbus could also be used to cook your horesh after a hard day of playing music for the folk. It is also a formidable weapon in a brawl, unlike the oud which must be removed from the altercation with haste.

Hey Elie, thanks for the science lesson, it seems the theroretical side of my brain sustained more damage than the other side, whatever that does. I am humbled by your expansive knowledge.:bowdown:




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[*] posted on 11-25-2005 at 07:00 PM


I have two cumbus' (one is the oud style, one is the huge 51" tanbur). They are both very loud. I think the bell idea makes pefect sense. There are wooden back cumbus' too but I have never played any.
The first thing my father asked when he saw the cumbus was if he could cook rice in it. :mad:
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[*] posted on 11-25-2005 at 09:01 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Oud

Hey Elie, thanks for the science lesson, it seems the theroretical side of my brain sustained more damage than the other side, whatever that does. I am humbled by your expansive knowledge.:bowdown:


I am humbled friend. Let us not forget the greatest contribution of all, your oud making handbook, very rare and so far and to the best of my knowledge is unparalleled by any in the world... even in the M.E. the home of the oud (correct me if I am wrong folks.)
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