An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

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Jo Dusepo
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An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Jo Dusepo »

I finished this instrument about a month ago now. It's an oud arbi, which is a traditional type of oud from North-west Africa (it's played mainly in Morocco, Tunisia and Alergia). It has 4 courses instead of the 6 courses of the standard oud (also called oud sharqi, meaning eastern oud for comparison). It's traditionally tuned to a re-entrant tuning of G3 G3, E4 E4, A3 A3, D4 D4, but I at first strung it in all fourths A2 A2, D3 D3, G3 G3, C4 C4 like the top 4 courses of a standard (sharqi) oud to get the hang of it (videos further down showing the sound).

As previously asked on here, this time I took some progress pictures to show my building process. Firstly, here's some pictures of the finished instrument:
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I specialise in historical & world instruments.
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Jo Dusepo
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Jo Dusepo »

And here are the progress pictures, in order. Hopefully it's all self-explanatory but feel free to ask any questions you may have.
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I specialise in historical & world instruments.
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Jo Dusepo
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Jo Dusepo »

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I specialise in historical & world instruments.
https://www.dusepo.co.uk

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Jo Dusepo
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Jo Dusepo »

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I specialise in historical & world instruments.
https://www.dusepo.co.uk

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Jo Dusepo
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Jo Dusepo »

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...and then several thin layers of shellac, you know the drill...
I specialise in historical & world instruments.
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Jo Dusepo
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Jo Dusepo »

Here's some sound and video samples using the non-traditional all-fourths tuning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwjwUWG0eW4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOzkPIyZT10

And here's a sound and video sample using the traditional re-entrant tuning, which I'm not so used to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIV3-6SRmm4
I specialise in historical & world instruments.
https://www.dusepo.co.uk

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Karl Wicklund
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Karl Wicklund »

Thank you! What are the woods?
Kaptain Karl

Tom Snape
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Tom Snape »

Looks great! And thank you for posting the build photos.

I have questions:
Are all the ribs cut to the same profile? Including the outermost two (next to the top)?
How do you shape the joint surfaces between the ribs? I see the sandpaper taped to the bench and plane in the vise. Some use of those I guess?
What is the neck joint?

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Jo Dusepo
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Jo Dusepo »

Karl Wicklund wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:03 pm
Thank you! What are the woods?
You're welcome :). The woods used are as follows:

The soundboard is German/Alpine Spruce.
The body, pegbox and bridge are Field Maple and Leopardwood.
The neck is Spruce (not sure of exact species) veneered with Sapele.
The fingerboard is Leopardwood.
The pickguard and soundboard inlays are Sapele.
The pegs are boxwood.
I specialise in historical & world instruments.
https://www.dusepo.co.uk

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Jo Dusepo
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Jo Dusepo »

Tom Snape wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:37 pm
Looks great! And thank you for posting the build photos.

I have questions:
Are all the ribs cut to the same profile? Including the outermost two (next to the top)?
How do you shape the joint surfaces between the ribs? I see the sandpaper taped to the bench and plane in the vise. Some use of those I guess?
What is the neck joint?
Thanks for your kind words.

All the ribs are approximately the same size (within the margins of hand-made construction), except for the two outer ribs, which are left oversize (shown in one of the pictures).

The ribs are shaped, as you said, with an upturned plane and sandpaper.

The neck joint is traditionally a dowel or a dovetail, but I prefer to reinforce mine with a bolt-on method.
I specialise in historical & world instruments.
https://www.dusepo.co.uk

Tom Snape
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Tom Snape »

Thank you for the reply. Now that you mention it I can see that two of the ribs are left wider. I just noticed too that this is a fretless instrument, correct?

As I mentioned in your dutar post, I'm looking for the right time to start making a dombra. I ordered a book from a fellow in Kazakhstan, but the shipping is delayed because of Covid-19. I've studied enough videos online (In Kazakh langauge) that I think I can go ahead and start anyway. I think the bowl back construction is very much like how you do it, except they normally only use 7 or 9 ribs. Also, the body is built right onto the neck, instead of affixing it later.

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Jo Dusepo
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Jo Dusepo »

Tom Snape wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:47 pm
Thank you for the reply. Now that you mention it I can see that two of the ribs are left wider. I just noticed too that this is a fretless instrument, correct?

As I mentioned in your dutar post, I'm looking for the right time to start making a dombra. I ordered a book from a fellow in Kazakhstan, but the shipping is delayed because of Covid-19. I've studied enough videos online (In Kazakh langauge) that I think I can go ahead and start anyway. I think the bowl back construction is very much like how you do it, except they normally only use 7 or 9 ribs. Also, the body is built right onto the neck, instead of affixing it later.
Yes, correct, this is fretless.

That's my understanding of dombras from videos I've seen too, the main difference is that seem to build without a mould, but no reason you couldn't build with one if you built one to that more narrow, dombra shape. You're right about the neck being integral on a dombra: every video I've seen shows them building it around the neck, where the neck also functions as the neckblock. I suspect it's because the neck is so narrow you'd struggle to get a strong joint in there. Of course with only two nylon strings and a floating bridge, the tension is much less. I look forward to seeing your dombra!
I specialise in historical & world instruments.
https://www.dusepo.co.uk

Bob Francis
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Re: An Oud Arbi I built (with construction progress pictures)

Post by Bob Francis »

This might be my favorite of all of your builds.

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