Lute > Chordophone.
Greece > South East Europe.
C F A D.
Length 67.4 cm.
Date: Circa Nov 2012.
Source: Paul Kikuris @ Bouzouki.org.
The bouzouki or
known by its plural designation “bouzoukia”, it is a member of the
plucked lute family of chordophones. It is played with a plectrum and
its tone is describe as a bright and metallic sound. The
closest cousins to the bouzouki are the Turkish saz or sazi in Greek
and the Arabic bouzuq who is played in the Levant (Lebanon, Syria and
Iraq). The origins of the bouzouki date back since antiquity, likely
from an instrument called a pandouris which had only
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|Celtic / Irish
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|Celtic / Irish
|G D A D
Physical evidence backs
up the existence of the pandoura can be observed on carved statues,
written documentation of the panduris was recorded and transmitted
through the Mantineia marble dating back to the fourth century B.C.
Which is exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Greece.
The name bouzouk in Turkish means “broken” or “to be modified”. The
bouzouki as we know it today was introduced into Greece with
immigrants from Asia Minor during the 1900's. Since the Byzantine
empire the bouzouki was called tambouras.
The original bouzoukis are called
trichordio having only 3 courses or six strings are the ones favoured by
the rebets, these are the musicians who played rebetika music. The
second type of bouzouki being the tetrachordio four course or eight
string bouzouki was popularized by Manolis Hiotis during the 1950s.
Since the 1960's the electric bouzouki became common place. Custom
pickups for both trichordia and tetrochordia bouzoukis are currently
The bouzouki as is
with most forms of lute construction includes a body, since the 1910s
the body was built using staves. A neck, fingerboard, head stock. Prior
to the use of machine-gears wooden friction tuners were also common. A
moria or (small fret) is often added on the second chromatic fret
closest to the head stock, so that quarter tones can be expressed
especially during the playing of dromoi (roads) or scales. Not unlike
the Turkish saz the bouzouki originally had tied frets adjusted to a
scale using quarter tone notes.
Grove Dictionary of Music G to O Page 87 by Stanley Sadie. Websites: