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Stringed instrument prominent in medieval and modern Islamic music, forerunner of the European lute. Dating from the 7th century, it has a pear-shaped body, a fretless fingerboard, a short neck, and a bent-back pegbox with the tuning pegs set in the sides. The gut strings, of which there are often four pairs, are plucked with a plectrum.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on 'ud, visit Britannica.com.
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