Medieval UdA fascinating musical instrument

Saadat Abdullayeva

IRS Heritage: No.9 (2012)


Among the Eastern musical instruments, the UD has a very interesting history of many centuries, which is proved by archeological finds and manuscripts. Thus, according to  terra cottas (9-10 cm fired statuettes with a flat back and embossed face, most of which date back to the first century BC – third century AD) of the city of Afrasiyab – Ancient Samarkand, the favourite musical instrument of the people of ancient Sogdiana had a great body that turned into a short neck and ended with a head bent backwards [1], i.e., it was very similar to the modern Ud. 

Major theorists of early medieval music – Yaha ibn al-Munajim (855-917) in his Risala fil-Musiqa>> (Treatise on Music>>) and Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi (870-950) in his book Kitab al-Musiqi al-Kabir>> (The big Book of Music>>) – describe a four-stringed (triple – bam, double maslas, masna and zir) ud, at the appropriate levels (frets) of which a particular sound was produced. The open string was called mutlag. In order to symbolise the frets, the names of the fingers were used (index finger – sabbaba, long figer – vosta, ring finger – bin sir and little finger – hinsir). But it should be noted that in order to get a perfect scale, singer and musician Ziryab (died in 845, his real name was Ali ibn Nafa), long before Farabi, added a fifth string hadd>> (sharp), which sounded a fourth higher than fourth and to make the sound more subtle and lighter, he replaced the wooden mediator with an eagle feather [2].

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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