I ran into Jack Edwards at the Bellingham Farmers Market yesterday. He told me he would like to give me an Arabic Oud that needed some repair. It had been given to him and he did not really want it. Today he arrived at my home with an array of exotic instruments.
Here he is playing a little Celtic harp that he found in a local thrift store and bought for a song. He also brought along a lovely Irish Bazouka (sp). And then he presented me with this very large Arabic Oud.
The soundboard has seen better days. Some nasty cracks and a terrible glue job, It should probably be replaced. I have plenty of Sitka Spruce that would make a dandy replacement top. Hate to see an instrument in this condition- I will think about repairing it.
The huge balloon body appears to be in pretty good condition although there is a wide band of gold tape up the center which is likely hiding a crack.
What do you suppose I would find if I tore that tape off.
The soundboard appears to be some sort of cedar. I bet spruce would be an improvement in strength and sound, surely in looks.
This creature has 12 strings in six courses. Could sure use a nice bone nut. The paired strings are tuned in pairs. I have been busy tonight reading about this ancient Arabic instrument. Apparently it is tuned in fourths with the exception of the low C and F, so it is C,F,A,D, G C, ( I think). Eight of the tuning pegs appear original and four appear to be new cello pegs. If I try to rehabilitate this poor creature I will most likely replace the old ones, they are pretty rough.
Not sure that I needed this challenge, but I have been listing to Oud music on you tube and I am kind of intrigued. I will sleep on it a few nights. Might be kind of fun to do- anyone out there want a rebuilt Oud?