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Event in the Library

Thurs. Jan. 28, 2010
4:00-5:00 p.m.
McKillop Library

Dr. Thomas Sabbagh: Middle Eastern Music: The Oud and Arabic Maquam (modes) Performance and History

Thomas Sabbagh, Ph.D. On Thursday, January 28, Dr. Thomas Sabbagh, Dean of graduate studies and continuing education, will perform and talk about the history of the oud (Arabic:عود‎ ‘ūd), which is the direct ancestor of the western lute. This ancient plucked, stringed instrument is distinguished primarily by its lack of frets. Middle Eastern music is strongly melodic, with complex rhythmic structures and a homophone texture. Unlike western music, the Arabic scale includes quarter tones halfway between notes.

Dr. Sabbagh, whose family came from Syria, learned to play the oud by ear at a young age. Today he frequently plays the oud and sings in Arabic at St. Basil Melkite Catholic Church in Lincoln, Rhode Island. For this program, Dr. Sabbagh's brother-in-law, Wayne Rawan, will accompany him on the tabl¬¬a. The term tabla is derived from an Arabic word, tabl, which simply means "drum."

In conjunction with this program, selected items from Dr. Sabbagh's collection of Middle Eastern instruments, recorded music and photographs of famous oud players will be on display in the McKillop Library foyer exhibit cases.

Insturments on display in the library foyer.

Sound recordings of Oud music in the library

Online music for the Oud - Playlist from the Naxos database.

More material on the music of the Middle East