Language Issue
The Lute and Its Development
The Lute and Its Development
Issue 51

Ahmad Saduldin, Egypt

In this paper, I focus on the lute and its importance to Oriental music. I also talk about the different stages of the lute’s development and manufacturing, and the various methods of making lutes. I also discuss the components and parts of these magnificent instruments, their different shapes, and the use of traditional lutes and modern lutes with six strings.

The introduction of a quill made of deer horn and reinforced bone helped to increase the strings’ resonance.

The most important developments introduced by modern technology affected the music, the shape and the manufacturing of the lute. Advanced techniques are used to play music to excellent standards that allow for better individual expression.

This made a new style of performance and composition possible, and led to the modern school of music and to different styles of lute-playing.

It also contributed to the emergence of a single musician using new techniques to play creative chords, melodic and tonal leaps, and fast melodic phrases. 

It became necessary for the musician to increase the vocal range, especially with the trebles. The lute industry had to adapt in order to facilitate the lute player’s role and keep pace with developments and techniques. The shape of the body of the lute changed from conical to oblate, and the depth of the bowl became less than half its width.

The musical instrument industry developed in parallel with the development of performance capabilities. Lute-making is both a source of income and an inherited vocation; it is also a passion and a source of joy. 

Other changes include attaching a microphone to the lute, and the introduction of a guitar-like lute. Many other improvements have provided lute players with further opportunities.