STORY: This Palestinian musician mixes eastern melodies with western beats
with a new instrument he built, dubbed a ‘Udulele’
Location: Acre, Israel
The name Udulele is a combination of oud and ukulele
It lets musicians play the Arabic maqam, using distinctive microtonal frets
while also capturing the simplicity of guitar strings
(Tamer Omar, Musician)
"The instrument has five strings and has an electric guitar which is locally built from wood. It also has the frets of the guitar and also the frets of the Arabic maqam, which is the second and the fourth. The instrument is built on the chord "La", unlike the guitar which is built on the chord "Me", which I think is more convenient to eastern music. The instrument is made of maple and oak woods."
Omar says many Palestinian artists have used the instrument in their concerts
(Jowan Safadi, Artist)
"I used it in my last four concerts and honestly it was a great addition, the audience loved it and interacted with it because it added something new. At the same time, it sounded familiar and Arab listeners can make out this sound."