Katara's Fifth String Oud Festival, which concludes March 21, saw this year a host of the world's oud makers take part. Different regions in the Middle-East make their Oud from different material, which gives its tunes a different feel. From Syria, Zaher Khalifa told Qatar News Agency that Ouds in Damascus go through 72 phases before its complete. He added that it takes between two to 10 days to make one oud, depending on a number of factors. He noted that the large number of phases have given the Levant ouds a reputation of being well made. Khalifa expressed his delight at participating in this year's festival. He was also pleased at the level of attendance, which he noted was from all age groups.
From Tunisia, Faisal Al Tuwaihri said that Ouds there are closer to Andalusian Ouds rather than oriental ones. The differences are mainly in the shape and size; Andalusian Ouds have a longer arm, 24 cm. The vibrating body and the sound box are also different. Another notable difference is that Andalusian ouds contain four strings, compared to the Oriental's five or six strings.
Al Tuwahri added that Ouds in Tunisia are quite similar to Arab Oud made in East Algeria. The similarities include the shape, size, and the number of strings. There are slight differences however, Al Tuwahri noted.
Turkish Oud Maker Lai Nachader said in remarks to (QNA) that the Turkish Oud is one of the important types of the instrument, explaining that it is made of light-weight wood, which produces distinct tones. The city of Istanbul has excelled in this industry, he added pointing that the Turkish Oud is different from the Oriental Oud, which got this name because of its origin.
For his part, German designer and Oud maker Karl F. said that the Oud is a junction between the oriental and Western music point, explaining that as an old music instrument the Oud contributed to the development of the of music around the world. He pointed that with the changes in culture and society, the Oud and Oud making have also seen a lot of changes.
Lebanese philosophy professor and Oud maker Nazih Ghadban praised the 'Fifth String' Oud Festival, and the great opportunities it provides for exchanging expertise and sharing knowledge.
Moris Farouq, Oud maker from Egypt, said that the Oud Festival would support the cultural heritage of the instrument and shed light on its value in the Arab and international culture and civilization.