Ostarrichislam - Al-Oud/Du

Catalogue: Ostarrichislam - Fragmente achthundertjähriger gemeinsamer Geschichte. Amena Shakir / Gernot Galib Stanfel / Martin M. Weinberger 2012 Vienna: Al Hamra

The al-Oud, Arabic for "wood", is a plucked stringed instrument with a pear-shaped body and a vaulted back built of wooden staves and a short fretless neck, which, in the past, could have been fretted. It has five pairs of melody strings and one sympathetic string. 
Its origin is unknown, but the Turkish, Persian and Arabic music traditions all claim the instrument to have originated in their cultures, although it could also have originated in India.
According to legend, the Oud virtuoso and poet Zirab brought the instrument to Spain as he was fleeing from the jealousy of his teacher in Baghdad. Apparently it was he, who gave the instrument its fifth string. 
On the Iberian Peninsula, the romance speaking part of the population assimilated the Arabian article "al", resulting in the word la-oud. This then became the Italian liuto and the Old French leüt, eventually leading to the words we know today such as the English word "lute", as well as the German word "Laute".