June 4, 2023

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Meeting to discuss UNESCO-registered oud

TEHRAN – A professional meeting focusing on UNESCO-registered oud, a traditional musical instrument, is scheduled to be held in the Persian Gulf island of Hormuz, southern Hormozgan province, the provincial tourism chief has said.

A number of musicians, craftspeople, cultural officials, and scholars have been invited to attend the one-day event, which will be held on March 15, Mohammad Mohseni explained on Sunday.

Music enthusiasts and researchers can gain a deeper understanding of this global instrument through such meetings, the official added.

Crafting and playing the oud was recently added to the UNESCO list jointly for Iran and Syria.

The oud is a traditional, lute-type instrument played in Iran and Syria. The musician places the short-necked instrument on their leg, fretting with one hand and plucking the chords with the other. In both countries, the oud consists of a pear-shaped sound box made of walnut, rose, poplar, ebony or apricot wood. Crafting an oud takes up to twenty-five days, during which the wood is left to dry and harden and is then treated with water and steam for fifteen days to build its durability.

According to the UN cultural body, ouds are crafted in different sizes for different-sized bodies and decorated with wooden carvings and mosaic patterns. They typically have five twin strings, though a sixth string can be added. With its bass and baritone ranges, the instrument can produce melodic and harmonic tones. The oud is played solo or in ensembles and is accompanied by traditional songs and dance in a wide range of events. Its practice is transmitted through apprenticeships and in musical centers, colleges, and universities in urban areas. Crafters are mostly men, although in recent years young women have developed an interest as well.

Hormuz Island is well-known for its eye-catching ochre, a red-colored earth pigment that attracts domestic and foreign nature lovers and holidaymakers.

The island covers an area of approximately 42 square kilometers, most of which is fairly uninhabited. It is sprawled in the Strait of Hormuz, 8km from the mainland.

Most of its visitors are day trippers from adjacent Qeshm Island and Bandar Abbas. The latter is a bustling port city and the provincial capital.

It is probable to traverse much of the land in a single day by car. However, there are a few popular spots, some on the beaches and some in the valleys where eco-tourists prefer to camp out for days. The sunny coastline is made up of a striking blend of golden beaches and amazing cliffs and slopes.

The arid island gets unbelievably hot during midday, so ideally, winter may be the best time to pay a visit. In the summer, its temperate can rise to over 43 °C.

The island also features ruins of Portuguese ramparts with clusters of eroding artillery cannons all around. In the early 16th century, the land was occupied by Portuguese forces who utilized it as a stopover for ships’ voyaging to Goa, Gujarat, and nearby Qeshm.

The rugged land is covered by sedimentary rocks, layers of volcanic material, and various minerals that contribute to the formation of fantastic colors, a feature that also attracts miners and exploiters to the region too.

The exploitation of the island’s ocher has been accelerated over the past couple of years, so rising ecological concerns have prompted the Department of Environment to take action to defend the interests of the inhabitants and safeguard the region for future generations.

Traditionally, its reddish soil, which indigenous people call “Golak”, is used for making local foodstuff decorative arts, and even as spices for cooking fish to make pickled vegetables.


Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/482605/Meeting-to-discuss-UNESCO-registered-oud

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