"…inspired by the shape of his son’s bleached skeleton"

Middle Eastern Oud
I came across this passage:

According to Farabi, the oud was invented by Lamech, the sixth grandson of Adam. The legend tells that the grieving Lamech hung the body of his dead son from a tree. The first oud was inspired by the shape of his son’s bleached skeleton.


That’s just kinda interesting, if gruesome, imagery. Another quote:

Tradition holds that the origin of the oud isn’t so tranquil, though. The Bible attributes the birth of music to Yuval, son of Lamech (the great, great, great grandson of Adam), but Arab legend tells a slightly different story, in which Lamech accidentally kills his other son Tuval-Cain (after accidentally killing the original Cain) and hangs his body to dry in a tree, with the skeleton serving as a model for the first instrument. We don’t want to know how they think the tuba was invented.


With that, I leave you this beautifully poignant article, A Fabled Iraqi Instrument Thrives in Exile, from the New York Times and this wonderful video of Rahim Alhaj and Souhail Kaspar recording “Rast” for Mr. Alhaj’s album, “When the Soul is Settled: Music of Iraq,” for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 2006.

For those of you reading this at my facebook page, the permalink which has the embedded video is:


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