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Armenian Oud Makers A thru H

Armenian Oud Makers I thru M

Armenian Oud Makers N thru Z





Based in Beirut, Lebanon.  Oud to the right probably dates from the 1940s

N KACHADOURIAN  Based in Beirut, Lebanon.  Oud from 1928 known to exist.  
Arşak Kahya  

Krikor Kahyayan aka Krikor Kahya  (1855-1922?)   Often referred to incorrectly as "Kirkor".  Istanbul based.   .   Example to right from 1919.  Original except for pegs and rosettes. Bowl made of mulberry and walnut.  Label in Ottoman Turkish and Armenian Addtitional examples of Kahyayan ouds.


Armenak Kalfayan   I am grateful to master luthier Cengiz Sarikus ( for providing the pictures of the 1826 Armenak Kalfayan oud to the right.  One of  the earliest known Armenian ouds.   Unusually constructed, with ribs meeting at back of bowl, rather than at base. Ivory inlay of a dove at junction of rib ends.  Label with Kalfayan's name in Armenian, and, written in Turkish, "Made by Armenak Kalfayan.  Yusuf Beke of the Military Band.  15 Sevval 1241".  Also includes on label a likeness of Kalfayan.

Sahak Kaplanyan.  Ud dated 1905 known to exist.  Photograph of Sahak Kaplanyan oud to the right courtesy master luthier Cengiz Sarikus at

Meguerditche Karibian   Worked in Thesoloniki.  To the right, a Meguerditche Karibian from 1892.  Original except for the pegs.  The bowl is made out of a stunning dark brown walnut.   This oud  belonged to oudi Serkis Efendi, who died in the 1920s.  Since that time, it remained in storage, unplayed, for several decades.  Available biographical information on Meguerditche Karibian is minimal.  Date of birth and death unknown.  Listed by one source as being an older brother to Onnik Karibyan (see below). 


Onnik Karibyan  (?-1976)  Born in Thesoloniki, based in Istanbul. Also known as Onnik Uner,  Onnik Usta, and Kuçüküner.  At times incorrectly referred to as "Onnik Garipyan". Perhaps the most widely acclaimed of all Armenian luthiers.  Karibyan ouds played by Udi Hrant Kenkulian (who also played ouds made by Manol and others), John Bilezikjian, Richard Hagopian, John Vartan, Harry Minassian, Leo Derderian, and scores of others.    Examples date from as early as 1915 (possibly as early as 1910), until 1976.  Thought by some to have trained in Manol's shop, but thus far not confirmed.  Example to right is from 1964, and is completely original.  Photograph of Onnik Karibyan in his workshop by, and courtesy of, John Vartan (  Additional examples of Onnik Karibyan ouds.


Karabet Kasribittazoglu (1881-?).  
Karekin Kavafian  Oud from 1912 known to exist.  

Kayserili Jebrayel.  Name known to me only from fragmented oud to the right, dated 1947.  In addition to Armenian label, Armenian inscription at base of bowl (a contraction of several letters, in a style employed by Armenian craftsmen). May represent person for whom oud was built.  Wood throughout appears unfinished, or else has been stripped of its finish.  Label reads:

Okostos 15 Marcel
Jebrayel G. (Timodey?)
Marangoz No. 478

Uncertain as to where this oud was made.   While Jebrayel was from Kayseri, this does not indicate that he was still there.  "Marangoz" is a Turkish word for carpenter.  Is Jebrayel referring to his profession, or is that an address (478 Carpenter Street)?  If it was the latter, then clearly he was still in Turkey, if not in Kayseri itself.

Bedros Kazakian.  Based in Yerevan, Armenia.   


Mihran Kazakian.  New York City based.  Mihran Kazakian oud dated March 10, 1918 pictured at right, courtesy of Ara Dinkjian (
J KAZANJIAN  New York City based.  To the right, a Kazanjian from 1932.  The paper strips over the stave/rib joints read:  "Fordham Hand Laundry  81 W. Fordham Rd., at University Avenue."  Fordham is a neighborhood in the Bronx, a New York borough.  The label itself gives Kazanjian's address as 501 (?) W. 174 St., which is just outside of the Fordham neighborhood.

Mihran Keresteciyan (1865-1940).  Istanbul-based.  Very highly acclaimed ouds. 


Movses Bedros Keshishyan (Movses Petrosi Qeshishyan)  Based in Yerevan, Armenia.  Oud to the right from 1989.  Photographs courtesy of



Hagop Khandyjian.  Based in Beirut, Lebanon.  To the right, a Khandyjian from 1937.

Khatchtourian Based in Konya, Turkey.  Oud from 1915 known to exist.  

Arshak Koseyan (?1884-?)   I am extremely grateful to Dr. Tufan Hicdonmez for the photographs to the right. 

Additional ouds by Arshak Koseyan

Hagop Kuchukian.  Based in Istanbul.  Known only from the oud pictured to the right, which dates from between 1902 and 1911 (last digit in Islamic year of 132* is not legible).  Photographs courtesy Nikos Rondeli.
SIRAGAN MATOSSIAN.  Based in Jerusalem.  Oud to the right is likely dated 1941.  
KEVORK MAZLOOMIAN.   Known only from fragmented oud pictured on the right.  Paris.  1920s?  

John Merjanian (?-May, 2005).  Based in Folsom (suburban Phliadelphia), Pennsylvania.  His 'uds referred to as "Merjans."  Learned oud making from Papazian (see following page), and spent a short time with Hadi Usta.  Merjanian ouds played by Leo Derderian and Zaven Donabedian.    To the right, stunningly beautiful Merjan 34, dated March 15, 1983.  Incredible flame maple.  Note lighter segment of wood on face, where Merjanian inlaid a harder piece of wood to minimize wear when playing in the upper register, a feature shared with other ouds made by Merjanian.  Meticulously crafted. 

Additional examples of Merjanian ouds.

Garabet Mikailyan (?1876-?)  
AUDISTE MISSISSIAN  Based in Damascus.  Oud to the right is dated 1930.

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Armenian Oud Makers A thru H

Armenian Oud Makers I thru M

Armenian Oud Makers N thru Z