Type: Plucked Lute >
Region: Greece > South
Specimen: Kritiko Laouto (Cretan
Tuning (specimen): Kritiko
Laouto G D A E.
Scale Length 65 cm.
Acquisition Date: January 2013.
Acquisition Source: Paul Kikuris
[in Greek: λαούτο]
or Laghouto is a long necked lute and a
member of the cordophone family of stringed instruments. In Greek the
name laouto means lute. The laouto is played with a long plectrum now
made from flexible plastic held in between the pointer finger, index
finger and thumb. While the precise origins of the laouto are unclear,
there is a parallel history shared between the laouto and the oud.
The laouto is played in both Mainland Greece and the Greek
Islands. In the Mainland the type of laouto played is called a Sterianos
laouto it is tuned Cc Gg Dd Aa. Where as in Crete the laouto is referred
to as a Kritiko laouto it is tuned Gd Dd Aa Ee. Traditionally the laouto
plays an accompanying role to other lead instruments, particularly in
Crete where it accompanies the Cretan Lyra. The laouto can be found in
other regional ensembles and is also played as a solo instrument.
follow the same construction. The fretting arrangements and tunings do
differ. This type of lute is assembled from a staved body, sound board,
neck, fingerboard, head stock and bridge. Both laouto�s have tied
frets of nylon line as adjustable frets on the neck and fixed frets
where the neck joins with the body. The soundboard (kapaki) is assembled
by a laborious process of shaping and joining the staves over a ribbed
During the gluing processes the staves are held together by tacks. Wax
paper is placed in between the mould and instrument as a means to make
it easier for removal. When the body is dried and shaped by the mould it
is carefully removed. The staves are selected from multiple different
variety of woods, maple, walnut, ebony and rosewood. The soundboard or
kapaki is made from European Spruce. A rosette stamped of metal is
affixed into the sound hole. A pick guard of walnut applied just behind
the sound hole. The bridge is made of ebony.