x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Origins of the Arabic oud

Instrument said to have been invented by Noah's grandfather.

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."