Barbat / Oud / Ud / Lute:
In Persian the word "bat" means duck, while "bar" is the duck's breast. Lute is one of the most ancient Iranian instruments. It is called "roud" by the Persians and Arabs call it "oud". Some believe that lute has either come from Hairah to the west of the Euphrates river near Mada'en, the education center of the Sassanid princes, or from a city known as "Bab". It has also been referred to by many other names including "oud", "mozhar", "motar" and "keran".
Lute is considered to be of Persian origin and playing it has been quite common in Iran since the ancient times. Once the Iranian lute was taken to Saudi Arabia, the Arabs, likewise, started making it from wood and called it "oud". Its bowel is very large and pear-shaped. It has an extremely short handle, so that the cords mainly extend along its bowel. It has 10 cords or five pairs of cord and is played by a plectrum. A chicken or peacock feather serves as plectrum. Lute produces a dull, soft and melancholy tone.
One of the branches of guitar is called Barbados or harper. With the advent and growth of Islam this genuine Iranian musical instrument traveled around the world and is being now used from China up to Italy. Statues unearthed from Shush and dating back to 1500 years ago as well as those excavated in Haft Tappeh are proof of the genuine Iranian origin of this ancient instrument.