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Introduction

What makes a good oud player is not only their talent, but also the journey they go on as a musician. It is their meticulous practice, the amount of time spent preparing for shows, and the compositions that they create which truly defines an oud player. Oud music is much more than just music, for the oud is an extension of the body and soul by which a musician can truly express themselves. Just like the instrument, there is much more than meets the eye in regards to Oud players, for they all create their own unique musical career. Many oud players are also performers, composers, instructors, and musicologists. Below is a list of interesting, unique, and very talented oud players.

Naseer Shamma – Iraq

Nasser Shamma is one of the most famous and influential oud players in the world today. The master Iraqi oud player has been playing the oud for nearly 45 years and he is the founder of the Arab House of Oud in Cairo, Egypt. Here is a link to some of Nasser Shamma’s newest music. https://www.shammamusic.com/listen

Mamdouh Al Gabaly – Egypt

Mamdouh El Gebaly is an Egyptian oud player that was born in 1967. He has become a very talented and well recognized oud player in the middle east. This is a link to one of his most recent songs on the album Egypt Taqasim. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xMBDRoGNmk

Munir Bashir – Iraq

Munir Bashir is one the best Iraqi oud players to ever live and he unfortunately passed away in 1997. He is considered a master oud player and he perfected the Arab Maqamat music genre. Munir Bashir changed the style of oud music and here is a link of one of his songs that utilizes an Arab Maqamat melody. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS8O0TusvAQ

Ramy Adly – Egypt

Ramy Adly is a world class Egyptian oud player, composer, renowned soloist, and musical instructor and founder of  The School of Oud Online. He has mastered the oud through an education at the Arab Oud House of Cairo, Egypt

Entrepreneurship for Ramy Adly is important to him,  he studied Investment at Harvard Business School. Ramy Adly has performed for audiences all over the world and created the soundtracks for many movies and TV shows, added work to Mission Impossible’s Trailer in 2019. Ramy is spreading, expanding, and revolutionizing the influence of the oud all over the world. Here is a link to a beautiful, classical oud performance from Ramy Adly and the second link is a masterful rendition of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmJFLVf0Q3Y

Mohamed Abozekry – Egypt

Mohamed Abozekry is a young and very talented oud player. The world renowned musician was trained and mentored by the master oud player Nasser Shamma. Mohamed Abozekry has created his own musical style by drawing inspiration from different cultures around the world and below is a link to a performance from his very popular Heejaz project .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLVt_TClJps

Mustafa Said – Egypt

Mustafa Said is a 37 year old, Egyptian composer, musicology professor, and a very talented oud player. He has performed all over the world and composed many pieces that resemble traditional oud music. Here is a link to a recent and well known performance from Mustafa Said. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pmAGEzc7Hc

Farid Al Atrash – Syria

Farid Al Atrash is considered to be one of the best oud players of all time and many people call him the king of oud. The Egyptian oud player was also a very talented composer, actor, and singer. Unfortunately, Farid Al Atrash passed away in 1974 but his legacy will live on forever through egypitan cinema and the music he created. Here is a link to one of Farid Al Altrash’s most famous performances https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d27SYiikOY

Ahmed AlShaiba – Yemen

Ahmed AlShaiba is a young Yemen-American oud player that is changing the face of oud music. a very popular musician on youtube and he is well known for the covers of modern music he makes with the oud instrument. Here is a link to his cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5OfNIQtK3U

Ara Dinkijian – Armenia

Ara Dinkijian is a 62 year old oud player with an Armenian background that was born in New Jersey, USA. He has been a world class oud performer and he often plays the oud with his father. Here is a link to a famous performance of Ara Dinkijian. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vc7fk9_V8k

Rahim Al Haj

Rahim Al Haj was born in Iraq and he was a talented oud player since he was a child. Rahim Al Haj is one of the best oud players in the world today and he was taught by the master oud player Munir Bashir. Rahim Al Haj had to move to America during the Gulf War because of his political activism against Saddam Hussein. Rahim Al Haj is a world class composer,, but he is best known for impressive oud playing. Below is a link to a truly beautiful performance and composition by Rahim Al Haj. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9qmsX4c78Y

Abadi Al Johr

Abadi Al Johr is a very famous Saudi Arabian composer, singer, and oud player. He is very well known in the Gulf area and he has many hit songs. Abadi Al Johr is an impressive oud player and he has been named the “Octopus of the Oud”.Here is a link to one of his most popular songs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsPC9pUOXKo

Yurdal Tokan – Turkey

Yurdal Tokan is a talented composer and oud player from turkey. Yurdal Tokan has composed many pieces for movie soundtracks and performed many times. Here is a link to a piece composed and performed by Yurdal Tokan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61BJp5mq8xk

Shirieen Al Tohamy – Egypt

Shirieen Al Tohamy is a talented oud player. She is the first woman to graduate from Arab House of Oud in Cairo. Shireen Al Tohamy has been compared to Farid Al Altrash and she now teaches oud at the Bait Al Oud in Abu Dhabi. She is a true master of oud and here is a link of her playing the oud with some of her students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQmm1WuY_3M

Riad Al Sunbati – Egypt

Riad Al Sunbati was a world class, Egyptian composer, singer, and oud player. He unfortunately passed away in 1981 but in his lifetime  he composed over 500 pieces and will forever be remembered for his contributions to Egyptian cinema, opera, and oud music. Here is a link to a video of Riad Al Sunbati playing the oud. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtM52MfsL-k

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