Abu Nasr Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Farabi, the Muslim scholar known to many as Alpharabius and born about 872, said the oud was invented by Noah's grandfather, Lamech - the sixth grandson of Adam and Eve.
He was supposedly inspired to create the instrument after hanging the body of his dead son from a tree.
The shape of the oud, legend suggests, resembled the shape of the son's skeleton.
Other writers have praised the oud for its healing powers. The 19th-century writer Muhammad Shihab Al Din described those properties in his book, Safinat Al Mulk: "It places the temperament in equilibrium ... it calms and revives hearts."