Wilhelm von Winkleried asks:
"didn't I read somewhere in this group that mulberry was used in the middle
east to manufacture musical instruments with??"
You are correct - mulberry is a traditional luthier's wood in Central Asia
and the Near East - it is particularly favored for the bodies of the
varients of the long-necked lute. Typically, the bodies are hogged out.
I have some pictures of such intruments here:
The second picture down shows the bodies of two different construction
types - the one the left (described as _oyma_) is carved out of a solid
chunk of mulberry, and has a sweet, sweet tone. The instrument on the right
is constructed of bent staves (a more modern fashion).
Sasha - woodworker, musician