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Author: Subject: Why do ladies seldom play oud, is it so masuline?
nancy
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[*] posted on 6-23-2008 at 05:16 AM
Why do ladies seldom play oud, is it so masuline?


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spyros mesogeia
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[*] posted on 6-23-2008 at 07:38 AM


Hello Nancy,welcome above us.
Well I have some students of mine that they are women,and they are doing very well,also the Gulcin Yahya is one of the greatest women on oud.
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[*] posted on 6-23-2008 at 10:38 AM


Just a thought.

A lady friend, an excellent violinist, asked to try my oud.

She couldn't reach past the bridge or to the nut.

Admittedly she's quite small and round.:(

Perhaps it's not the masculinity, it's size, for some smaller women.:rolleyes:
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[*] posted on 6-23-2008 at 01:00 PM


That's why you can find great woman's oud :...Nahat ouds and others I suppose....
There are many women who play oud, and also many in this forum.....
I'm not sure that cello , double bass , pipes and most of big bodied instrument are not playable by our magic halfs!
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[*] posted on 6-23-2008 at 06:23 PM


My band mate would love to give Oud a try. As a shamisen player she is already awesome with fretless instruments and has a great sense of unique time signatures. I think she'd be wonderful as she has been with nearly every other lute she's picked up.

But there are no small Ouds here for her to try out. We only see the typical sizes which are even a little hard for me since I'm a bit small too.

Would love to be able to check a smaller instrument in person in either Tokyo or Seattle later this year.




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[*] posted on 6-23-2008 at 11:36 PM


Hey Nancy, I wonder if it has anything to do with archaic arabic/islamic tradition which tries to dictate the role women?, If so I hope all chicks will bust out of that one day, there is nothing masculine about an oud and I love a woman's touch. (pardon the expression) Regards & welcome, C.
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[*] posted on 6-23-2008 at 11:46 PM


I wrote a mistake , yesterday: I wanted to give the name of Nazih Ghadban, the great libanese maker. He is able to adapt the sizes of his ouds , and he works for a long time on women's oud models.......I don't think he is the only one .
You can have a look to Zalzal website....referenced in member list of the site....
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[*] posted on 6-24-2008 at 12:37 AM


Hi Nancy, welcome to the forum. Its always refreshing to have a womans input here. Perhaps Charlie oud has hit upon one of the reasons why so few women have been playing ouds in the past, due to the traditional role of women in many countries where the oud is played. However there are a growing number of ladies out there who do play the oud in more recent times, and oudmakers like Nazih Ghadban ( who's daughter plays the oud) makes ouds which women may find more comfortable to play. here is a link on this topic-
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=7003&pa...
hope to hear more from you and all the ladies in this forum! :)best wishes, MW
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spyros mesogeia
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[*] posted on 6-24-2008 at 03:07 AM


There are many ouds for women.
A little bit smaller perhaps.I sugest to you a Turkish type oud for women,or a Child oud with six courses.
I sugest to you two makers.
Tasos Theodorakis
Dimitris Rapakousios,and many many others.
Personally I have played one and it sounds great and believe me they are much more smaller.I have a student of mine is 1,65 m tall and it is just perfect for he.
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[*] posted on 6-24-2008 at 04:32 AM


Hmmmm thats an interesting one...Mind you coming from an Arabic background, I can remember in some old syrian movie and tv series where the women would gather around the water fountain in the traditional courtyard house and they would sing, and one of course would be playing an oud! and it was traditional. However, these days there doesnt seem to be many signs of that, in fact if you look at the arab world, women dont seem to play instruments at all! - just sing and dance. I don't think its anything to do with Islamic culture. Look at the bouzouki in Greece for example, I can't say I've seen or heard of any women palyers, other than a friend of mine, whose mum I remember saying took a couple of lesson when she was young...
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[*] posted on 6-24-2008 at 05:29 PM


My friend there are many bouzouki and saz players women in Greece.Buzuki players too....anyhow,important is to love the instrument.
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[*] posted on 6-24-2008 at 10:16 PM


my grandma grew up in a small anatolian town in the 1930s and 40s and she played ud. that's actually how i got interested. she says a lot of the girls in the town played instruments, kanun, violin, darbuka, def, but especially ud. there was a blind man they took lessons from.

have you seen these two ladies?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=DPZPwldca2k
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 01:38 PM


I've been wondering the same thing myself.
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 02:25 PM


I imagine it's a lot of additive factors. How many good electric guitar players are there? A handful. There are more female pianists, though overall, on all instruments, more men have the (hormonal?) drive both to learn and to perform. Then the average oud a kid might pick up is big-bowled. And women are rarely encouraged in this activity -- how many fathers want their daughters living a musician's life? everything conspires to reduce the number of female instrumentalists in most cultures. When it turned out that most of the hit pop records of the 1960s, black and white, were recorded using the same studio bass players, especially a little woman in glasses named Carol Kaye

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9idtdWAAEA&feature=related

everyone was amazed. So let's not label this as an oud or Sharky culture issue.

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[*] posted on 7-4-2010 at 12:03 AM


Quote: Originally posted by fernandraynaud  
..., more men have the (hormonal?) drive both to learn and to perform.


I think it's more the "perform".

I discussed this topic with my sweetheart and in her opinion many women play an instrument alone for themselves no matter which instrument or culture.

And we shouldn't forget, that many women are mothers. I remember a british woman here in the forums, who was searching an oud and her musical activities (she played other instruments before) were drastically limited by being a mother. So she plays alone, when she find's the time.

Mothers have no time to play in an ensemble or record Youtube videos, etc..

PS: But as always there are exceptions like the famous Yemeni oud play and singer Djamila Saad ... I especially like this one.




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[*] posted on 7-4-2010 at 12:31 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Aymara  
I think it's more the "perform".

I discussed this topic with my sweetheart and in her opinion many women play an instrument alone for themselves no matter which instrument or culture.


Where I took and gave lessons since 2001 in Paris there were more women for the oud than men (most of men played keyboard). I think this is because of the oriental culture, many women use to play traditional or classical music at home for family. This is life music vs live music...
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[*] posted on 7-4-2010 at 01:55 AM


Quote: Originally posted by David.B  
This is life music vs live music...


Nice slogan :D




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[*] posted on 7-4-2010 at 02:57 AM


« CHAPITRE PREMIER

LA VIE MUSICALE DES ARABES
APERCU HISTORIQUE

1. La période pré-islamique jusqu’en 632 ; l’école des Qaïna-s.

Les plus anciennes données que nous possédons sur la vie et les pratiques musicales arabes remontent qu VIe siècle après J.-C., soit quelque cent à cent cinquante années avant que les cavaliers d’Allah fassent au VIIe siècle, avec l’Islam, leur entrée dans l’histoire. Ces sources sont donc de peu antérieures à l’époque islamique, mais furent précédées par une période de plus d’un millénaire, dont la civilisation avancée n’a pas encore donné lieu à une étude suffisante. Cette période pré-islamique est désignée sous le nom de Djahiliya, qui veut dire colère, fierté, impudence et fanatisme, toute caractéristiques des mœurs du temps. La société de la Djahiliya était divisée en tribus, et la loi suprême était celle de la solidarité tribale. Nous avons puisé nos sources d’information sur la musicale de la péninsule arabique au cours de la période pré-islamique dans la littérature traditionnelle de la fin de cette époque, sans toutefois y trouver de données exactes sur le système tonal ni d’allusion aux théories musicales.

La vie musicale de la Djahiliya était centrée sur la Qaïna, chanteuse-servante, qui joignait à ses talents de musicienne les fonctions d’échanson et de courtisane. Les Qaïna-s formaient une classe sociale particulière ; elles s’établissaient généralement dans les centres commerciaux importants, appelés Asouaq al-Arab, tels que Médine, Ta’if, Oukaz, etc., ce qui leur permettait de nouer facilement des contacts avec les riches marchands auxquels elles dispensaient boisson, chant et sensualité. Tout en chantant, la Qaïna versait du vin à ses hôtes, tandis que l’une de ses compagnes l’accompagnait sur un instrument de musique : le vêtement qu’elle portait découvrait largement ses seins, les offrant aux regards et aux caresses des visiteurs. Les Qaïna-s de l’époque de la Djahiliya avaient coutume, comme aujourd’hui les propriétaires de maisons de tolérance, d’accrocher un drapeau au-dessus de la porte de la porte de leur établissement (Hana) pour attirer l’attention des passants. Ces Hana-s étaient répandus sur toute la péninsule arabique. Une autre catégorie de Qaïna-s se consacrait à un seul maître. C’est ainsi que les palais des petits souverains tels que Harith, Ghassanide, Nouman et Mounzer d’Hira, ainsi que ceux des nobles et des seigneurs, abritaient un grand nombre de Qaïna-s, qui , par la musique et le chant, agrémentaient les loisirs de leurs maîtres. Leur talent consistait non seulement à réciter les vers des grands poètes de l’époque, surtout ceux que célébraient le maître (Sayed) de la Qaïna, mais encore à les chanter, ce qui suppose une connaissance approfondie de la langue et une solide formation littéraire. A Médine, à la Mecque, à Yamama, au Yémen et en Hadramout ont vécu des Qaïna-s célèbres don l’histoire a retenu le nom, telles que Djarada de `Add, Moulaïka, Bint `Afzar, Houraïra, et bien d’autres ; mais les noms du plus grand nombre d’entre elles sont tombés dans l’oubli.

On distingue durant la période de la Djahiliya deux styles d’art vocal bien caractérisés ; ce sont d’une part les chants de la population sédentaire, ahl al-had’ar, et d’autre part les chants des Bédouins nomades. Ces derniers, rudimentaires et naïfs, se limitaient aux styles dits Houda’ et Nasb, alors que l’art vocal des peuples sédentaires, et plus particulièrement celui des Qaïna-s, lui était bien supérieur du point de vue artistique. Houda’ représentait le chant des chameliers, dont le rythme entraînant se réglait sur le pas balancé de l’animal ; Nasb était le chant des jeunes Bédouins traversant le désert à dos de chameau et désignait également les lamentations funèbres des femmes.

Du point de vue du fond et de la forme, le chant artistique des Qaïna-s se divisait en deux genres : Sinad et Hazadj. Sinad, qui traite de sujets sérieux tels que la dignité, l’éloge, la fierté, l’orgueil, la gravité, est composé en longs vers classiques ; Hazadj, au contraire, est un divertissement visant simplement à amuser l’auditeur ; il est composé en vers classiques courts et accompagné par des luths, des flûtes ou des tambourins. L’instrument de musique des Qaïna-s cité le plus fréquemment dans la littérature de la Djahiliya est un instrument à cordes qui devait ressembler à l’actuel luth à manche court, le Oud ; on l’appelle Mizhar, Kiran, Mouattar et Sandj. Plus rarement sont mentionnés le Qoussab et le Mizmar, instruments dont le premier tient de la flûte et le second du hautbois ou de la clarinette, le Douff, tambourin, et la crécelle, nommée Djaladjil. Cependant le poète al-A`cha rapporte avoir entendu à Nadjran des flûtes (Mizmar et Qoussab) et un luth (Sandj) accompagnant simultanément le chant des Qaïna-s.

Les Qaïna-s étaient élégamment vêtues, parées de riches bijoux. Elles exhalaient le parfum d’essences rares. Elles possédaient en outre une voix enivrante, un visage et un corps parfait. Leur prospérité prouve que l’exercice de leurs talents était fort apprécié dans la société et représentait une véritable tradition dont les effets se sont faits sentir, bien après l’apparition de l’Islam, jusqu’à la période où l’influence d’Ishaq al-Mausili au IXe siècle s’est fait sentir. Parmi la centaine de chants choisis pour Haroun al-Rachid, l’un d’entre eux provenait des sœurs Djarada-s, Qaïna-s de profession, qui vivaient à l’époque de la Djahiliya. L’art vocal extrêmement élaboré des Qaïna-s est sans doute typique de la vie musicale de l’époque, puisque l’origine, la répartition et la langue en sont arabes. Il est difficile de déterminer l’impact exact de l’influence étrangère qui s’est exercée sur cet art vocal, car nous ne savons pas jusqu’à quel point les relations culturelles et économiques entre les anciennes cultures ont joué, des siècles durant, un rôle décisif dans son évolution. Parmi les esclaves on trouvait à cette époque des Persans, des Byzantins, des Egyptiens et des Ethiopiens. Païens, chrétiens, juifs et mages persans vivaient ainsi côte à côte, et il est certain que les Qaïna-s ont été influencées par leurs liturgies, leurs hymnes et leurs chants caractéristiques. Il ne faut pas non plus sous-estimer l’apport persan et éthiopien, la vie musicale de ces pays ayant déjà atteint un niveau élevé à l’époque. Cependant, quelles qu’auraient été les influences étrangères subies par les Qaïna-s, leurs chants ont néanmoins gardé un caractère typiquement arabe, puisqu’ils sont le reflet de la grande poésie de l’époque et qu’ils étaient sanctionnés par le public dans leur fond comme dans leur forme. »

LA MUSIQUE ARABE
By Habib Hassan Touma
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[*] posted on 7-4-2010 at 03:16 AM


Here it is the Google translation (the original is in French above) :

"CHAPTER

THE MUSICAL LIFE OF ARAB
HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

1. The pre-Islamic period up to 632; School of Qain-s.

The earliest data we have about life and Arab musical traditions that date back sixth century AD, about one hundred to one hundred and fifty years before the riders make Allah in the seventh century, Islam their entry into history. These sources are of little pre-Islamic period, but were preceded by a period of more than a millennium, whose advanced civilization has not yet led to sufficiently studied. This pre-Islamic period is referred to as Djahiliya, which means anger, pride, insolence and fanaticism, all characteristics of the manners of the time. The Djahiliya society was divided into tribes, and the supreme law was that of tribal solidarity. We draw our information on the music of the Arabian peninsula during the pre-Islamic literature in the traditional end of that time, but finding accurate information on the tonal system of reference to or music theory.

The musical life was centered on the Djahiliya Qain, singer-servant, who combined his talents as a musician functions butler and a courtesan. The Qain-s formed a particular social class, they usually stood in the major shopping centers, called Asouaq al-Arab, such as Medina, Ta'if, Oukazi, etc.., Which allowed them to easily establish contacts with the rich merchants to whom they provided drinking, singing and sensuality. While singing, the Qain poured wine to his guests, while one of her friends accompanied her on a musical instrument: the clothing she wore largely uncovered her breasts, offering them the looks and caresses of visitors . The Qain-s the time of Djahiliya were wont, as now the owners of brothels, to hang a banner above the door of the door of their establishment (Hana) to attract attention bystanders. The Hana-s were spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula. Another category of Qain-s concentrating on a single master. Thus, the palaces of monarchs such as small Harith Ghassanid, Nouman and Mounzer of Hira, and those of the nobles and lords, home to a large number of Qain-s, who, through music and song, embellished recreation of their masters. Their talent was not only to recite the verses of great poets of the period, especially celebrated as the master (Sayed) of Qain, but to sing them, which requires detailed knowledge of the language and a strong literary background . In Medina, Mecca, to Yamama, Yemen and Hadramaut have had the most written-Qain donation history remembers the name, such as the `Add Djarada, Moulaïka, Bint` Afzar, Hurayra, and many others, but the names of as many of them have fallen into oblivion.

It distinguishes the period of two styles of art Djahiliya voice well characterized on the one hand they are the songs of the sedentary population, ahl al-had'ar, and other songs of the nomadic Bedouins. These rudimentary and naive, were limited to the styles known Houda 'and Nasb, while the vocal art of sedentary people, and especially that of Qain-s, it was much higher than the artistic point of view. Houda 'was the song of camel drivers, whose driving beat is not regulated in the swing of the animal; Nasb was the song of young Bedouins through the desert on camels and also appointed women to funeral dirges.

From the point of view of substance and form, singing artistic Qain-s was divided into two kinds: Sinad and Hazadj. Sinad, which deals with serious topics such as dignity, praise, pride, pride, serious, long lines is composed classical Hazadj, however, is entertainment aimed simply to amuse the listener, it is written in classical verse short and accompanied by lutes, flutes and tambourines. The musical instrument of Qain-s mentioned most frequently in the literature of Djahiliya is a stringed instrument that was similar to the current short-necked lute, the oud and is called Mizhar, Kiran, and Mouattar sandja . Less frequently mentioned are the Qoussab and mizmar, whose first instruments is the flute and the second oboe or clarinet, Douff, tambourine and rattle, called Djaladjil. But the poet al-A `cha reported hearing at Nadjran flutes (mizmar and Qoussab) and a lute (sandja) accompanying the simultaneous singing Qain-s.

The Qain-s were elegantly dressed, adorned with rich jewels. They gave off the scent of rare species. They also had an intoxicating voice, a face and a perfect body. Their prosperity proves that the exercise of their talent was highly appreciated in society and represented a tradition whose effects were felt well after the appearance of Islam until the period when the influence of Ishaq al-Mausili the ninth century has emerged. Among the hundreds of songs chosen for Harun al-Rashid, one of them came from sisters Djarada-s-s Qain profession, who lived at the time of the Djahiliya. The highly developed vocal Qain-s is probably typical of the musical life of the time, since the origin, distribution and language are Arab. It is difficult to determine the exact impact of foreign influence that was exerted on the vocal, because we do not know how far the cultural and economic relations between the ancient cultures have played for centuries, a decisive role in its evolution. Among slaves there were at that time of the Persians, Byzantines, Egyptians and Ethiopians. Pagans, Christians, Jews and Persian Magi and lived side by side, and it is certain that Qain-s have been influenced by their liturgies, hymns and songs of their characteristics. Do not underestimate the contribution Persian and Ethiopian musical life of these countries have already achieved a high level at the time. However, what would have been foreign influences experienced by Qain-s, their songs have nevertheless retained a distinctively Arab, they are a reflection of the great poetry of the period and were punished by the public in their substance and in form. "

ARABIC MUSIC
By Habib Hassan Touma
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[*] posted on 7-4-2010 at 07:55 AM


Same thing for guitars and battery, no?
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[*] posted on 7-4-2010 at 09:18 AM


Quote: Originally posted by mrkmni  
Same thing for guitars and battery, no?


Yes, I think it's the same with every instrument.

But the article David posted is interesting, which shows, that the history was different. That reminds me of the book When The Drummers Were Women by Layne Redmond, a famous female frame drummer and percussionist.




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[*] posted on 7-5-2010 at 11:36 AM


Hi Nancy,

No. no. I'm learning to play the oud, and I went to a NYC workshop in Feb. where there were two other women. I hear there have always been a number of women playing. When I saw Nassir Shamma's oud orchestra in Cairo in June, 2007, there were two women playing the oud and the rest were men (total of 13 or so oud players, plus Shamma). The two women were hijabis, does it matter?

As for size, I am tall and looking forward to getting a larger oud for my next oud. Mine (a standard size), is a little small for my arms.

Don't listen to those slams about arab/islamic tradition--many of the women I've known from the arab/ islamic tradition are pretty tough cookies.
ma'a salama Kiki
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[*] posted on 7-6-2010 at 09:09 AM


In Armenia the majority of oud players are women and the oud has a more complementary role in the ensembles...and the women are the Kanun masters as well and have elevated the instrument to a solo performance level like the piano.
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[*] posted on 7-8-2010 at 12:41 PM


In the early early history of recordings in Turkey (1898-1910), almost all oud recordings were of female oudists, Nasip Hanim being one of the more prolific ones. Nasip Hanim, as far as we know, was a Romani Muslim, but unfortunately as far as I know only 1 cylinder of hers is known to be preserved in an archive.

Oud is also extremely popular amongst young pious Muslim women in Turkey, Bahrain, and elsewhere. I'll speak about Turkey - based on what I've seen in the last 10 years at the conservatories and in private derneks that there are more female oud players in Istanbul then male ones, Gülçin being the most famous but by no means the only one. More broadly, the number of women professionally employed in the governmental art music ensembles (on all instruments) is growing, with some ensembles featuring more women then men.




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[*] posted on 7-8-2010 at 01:20 PM


Quote: Originally posted by eliot  
... there are more female oud players in Istanbul then male ones ...


Interesting, I bet, nobody would have expected that.




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