Due to the fact that there were many claims from many imposters in having altered and modified the oud by making the eight string oud i have decided to add a page to my website to explain that the least I have done was to add the two extra string. I have stated in all the newspaper and radio interviews that the only thing which Al Farabi influenced me with was the methodology of researching mathematics in music but Al Farabi himself never mentioned anything about the eight string oud as it was not in existence in his time and after his time aswell. I have added on this page a few comments from scholars specialised in the ancient manuscripts and history of the oud which show clearly that the false document produced by Naseer Shamma which he relates to Al Farabi is a complete hoax. I came across these comments in Mike's Oud website, which came to my attention through friends. Therefore, I am grateful to Mike's website that it brought the whole thing into the light.
Subject: Magdy El Ashmawy
master luthier vs Naseer Shamma scam
Magdy El Ashmawy master luthier vs Naseer Shamma scam
Al Farabi Manuscript
See for yourselves and you will
Mood: No Mood
I am not familiar with what Naseer Shamma has said about al-Farabi or the historical origin of 8-course ouds, but I thought it would be useful to make a brief comment about what is known to us about the historical evolution of the oud from the writings of Middle Eastern authors over the centuries. Neither al-Farabi nor any other medieval writer describes an 8-course oud. All the major writers until the 15th century (al-Kindi. Ibn al-Munajjim, al-Farabi, Ikhwan al-Safa', Ibn al-Tahhan, Ibn Sina, al-Urmawi, the anonymous author of 'Kanz al-Tuhaf,' etc.) mention either a 4-course or a 5-course oud. These were the two standard types of oud that co-existed in the region. Al-Farabi used the 5-course oud and its fingerings as a model for analysing the tone system. A hundred years later Ibn al-Tahhan, an accomplished oud player and one of the great court musicians in Fatimid Cairo, wrote in his book on music ('Hawi al-funun') that the ouds in Egypt in his time, and his own oud, had four courses, although in some other places 5-course ouds were used.
Ouds with more courses than the standard four or five appear in the Ottoman period. In the late 15th century, the Ottoman author al-Ladhiqi mentions the recent appearance of a new oud with 6 courses (named oud akmal) alongise the 4-course oud (oud qadim) and 5-course oud (oud kamil) that had been around for centuries. In the early 16th century the Ottoman court musician Mahmud al-Maraghi describes a still newer innovation - the development of an oud with 7 courses (named oud mukammal). Sometime in the 17th century or 18th century this 7-course oud found its way to Egypt (an Ottoman province at the time) and remained there well into the 19th century. The French scholar Villoteau picked up one of these 7-course Egyptian ouds when he was in Egypt around 1800 and wrote a detailed description of it (I have posted Villoteau's diagram of this oud on a different thread). The Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels has this type of Egyptian oud in its collection.
Based on everything we know, in
the time of al-Farabi (who died in 950) and even 500 years later ouds
had either four or five courses, not more. Ouds with a couple of additional
courses appeared in the Ottoman Empire, but none as far as is known had
8 courses. It would be interesting to know where the information about
a medieval oud with 8 double courses (rather than a total of 8 strings)
HI every body
Have a look at the long neck one sound hole floating bridge metal pegs and biggest of all is the mathematical formulae which he came up with. All this together with the right string gauges gives his ouds this magnificent sustain presence which can be heard in the later version which can be seen in Hussein Saber's video.
Looking at Dr Ashmawys work that I have been following since the early 80s and in all his articles, he was stating that Alfrabi had never invented an 8 oud string. The only thing that Dr Ashmawy adopted from Alfrabi was the methodology of mathematics in music.
As far as I know the only people
who researched the relation between mathematics and music in Egypt were
Dr Mustafa Musharafa and Ghatas Abdel Malik Khashab and last but not least
Dr Magdi Ashmawy
The above picture illustrates the diagram which was done by French Scholars in Napolean Bonaparte's time in Egypt in 1798 which as you will see from the picture below that Naseer Shamma has based his false document on the above illustration.
Above the false document that Naseer Shamma attributes to Al Farabi.