Qudmany Oud by brothers Tawfiq & Iskander Qudmany

15 • Two Qudmany Ouds

The three Qudmany brothers were a single-generation dynasty of Ottoman music and instrument-making. Born in Damascus but soon attracted to the empire’s capital, they brought their famously sophisticated Syrian craftsmanship to Constantinople around 1900 and opened a business together in 1902.

Selim – the eldest – was an oud virtuoso, spending most of his time in high demand performing across all the lively night spots of town. Iskander published a journal called Muntehabat in addition to significant collections of Ottoman compositions and song books, including a landmark publication on oud tutorship. Tawfiq looked after their workshop at 18 Maliye Karshisi. All were highly accomplished luthiers.

A Qudmany Brothers oud label, showing Tawfiq and Iskander
A Qudmany Brothers oud label, showing Tawfiq and Iskander

15A
BY BROTHERS
TAWFIQ & ISKANDER QUDMANY

Turkey, 1913
68 cm long
Bowl (15 ribs): Anatolian walnut, Bosnian maple
Soundboard: Anatolian spruce
Neck: Caucasian spruce laminated with walnut veneer
Pegbox: walnut
Rosette: ivory, walnut

Its simplicity and absence of any embellishments make this a true players instrument. It is presented in its entirely original state.

15B
BY ISKANDER QUDMANY

Turkey, 1928
68 cm long
Bowl (15 ribs): Anatolian walnut, Bosnian maple
Soundboard: Alpine spruce
Fingerboard marquetry: ebony, ivory
Bindings: ebony, maple

An exceptionally light instrument, only a few such examples have survived in their original condition. It is also a fine example of combined Damascene and Istanbul craftsmanship: bowl and decoration are typically from Damascus whereas the geometry of the face, bridge, thin neck and ribs show characteristics of Istanbul instrument making. Both instruments have a very clear and projective sound compared to other Turkish ouds from the same period.