New book out! The Oud: An Illustrated History

“Musician Beckles Willson (Orientalism and Musical Mission) scrupulously traces the history of the oud—a short-necked, fretless stringed musical instrument—from its first written mention in ancient Persia to the present day. An instrument long associated with bereavement (an early fable holds that a grieving father constructed it from his deceased son’s Read more…

Iranian oud

For a long time the oud was disparaged in Iran, even though the Sassanian empire was fundamental to its development centuries ago. One key to its twentieth-century revival was the musician Mansur Nariman. I recently recorded some of his short pieces.