Bassam Saba is one of the preeminent performers of Arabic music in the world. In these how-to videos, he introduces us to one of the many instruments he plays expertly: the oud, a precursor to the lute. Saba gives an overview of the oud’s history and its basic playing techniques. He also discusses particularities of Arabic music, such as Taqsim, or improvisation in the Arabic style, and the maqam modal system, which makes regular use of microtones.
You can view versions of these “how to” videos in both English (above) and Arabic.