Alternative names: Xalam, Khalam, Teherdent, Gambare, Molo. Origin: Throughout Central and Western Africa. Tuning: C5, D4, G4, D5 is common for 4 string varities. C4, C5, G4, D5, G5, E5, F5 or C4, C5, D4, G4, D5, E5, F5 are common for 7 string varities. There are many tunings however. Strings/Courses: 4/4 and 7/7 are common, but others exist. The courses are always single. Further notes: Nylon strings, often fishing wire. The larger ones are called 'Ngoni Ba', while the smaller ones are called 'Ngoni Micin'. Scale Length: Huge variation.
Alternative names: Origin: Mali. Tuning: The string is tuned to the player's vocal range. Strings/Courses: 1/1 Further notes: Scale Length:
Alternative names: Origin: Sweden, medieval period. Tuning: C, G, C, A Strings/Courses: 4/4 Further notes: Swedish for 'key harp'. 4 melody strings and several sympathetic strings. Steel strings. Scale Length: 340-350mm
Alternative names: Origin: The Philippines, during Spanish colonisation (1521-1898) Tuning: F#2, B2 B2, E3 E3, A3 A3 A3, D4 D4 D4, G4 G4 G4. Strings/Courses: 14/6 Further notes: Evolved from the Spanish Laud. Steel strings. Scale Length: 495mm
Alternative names: Octobasse (French name). Origin: France, about 1850. Tuning: C0, G0, C1 or C0, G0, D1 Strings/Courses: 3/3 Further notes: Scale Length:
Alternative names: Octophone Origin: USA, 1920's. Tuning: G2 G2, D3 D3, A3 A3, E4 E4 or C3 C3, G3 G3, D4 D4, A4 A4 or D3 D3, G3 G3, B3 B3, E4 E4. Strings/Courses: 8/4 Further notes: Steel strings. Sometimes the lower two courses are tuned in octaves, especially with the fifths tunings. Scale Length: 530mm
Alternative names: Ud, Al-ud, Oud Arbi, Barbat (In Iran) Origin: Middle East, over 5000 years ago. Tuning: D2, G2 G2, A2 A2, D3 D3, G3 G3, C4 C4 (Arabic tuning) or C#2, F#2 F#2, B2 B2, E3 E3, A3 A3, D4 D4 (Turkish tuning). Strings/Courses: 11/6, 13/7 or 10/5 Further notes: There are also Iraqi Ouds with 13 strings, adding an extra higher course to the Arabic type, and Egyptian Ouds without the single lowest course. Nylon strings. Scale Length: 600-620 for the Arabic oud. 580-590mm for the Turkish oud. There is however quite a wide range used by different luthiers.