3100 BC

The lute is one of the oldest instruments in the world, and many historians believe it descended from the musical bow. The oldest forms of lutes had long necks, and they became the modern tanbur.

The Oud has showed up all around the world: the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. Like the lute, the body of the Oud is egg shaped. It features a large, round hollow back, usually with a closed body and a small opening. Sometimes a rosette - an intricate wood carving - would cover the sound hole.


The European lute was a response to the oud, where the neck was lengthened and frets were added to the fretboard

Both the Lute and the oud's names may possibly come from the Arabic al-ʿoud which literally means "the wood”

The Lute and the Oud

A lute

The Oud

Temple Anthropology Laboratory and Museum 

Gladfelter Hall- Lower Level, Temple University

1115 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122


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