Name: Lavta.

Type: Plucked Lute > Chordophone.

Tuning: C G D A.

Region: Greece > South East Europe.

Description: The lavta (in Armenian լավտա) or in Greek (πολίτικο λαούτο) is a small long necked lute related to the laouto and outi (or oud). The lavta was introduced into Greece by the way of Greek immigrants from Asia Minor. The lavta was quite popular in the early 20'th century among the Greek, Armenian and Turkish communities of Istanbul, and played by the noted Turkish musician Tanburi Cemil Bey. Another name for the lavta is "Politiko Laouto" or "lute from Constantinople". Over time this instrument was gradually replaced by the oud and survived until this day. Since the 1980's there has been a revival and interest of this instrument. It is now played in both Greece and Turkey.

It is traditionally strung with nylon strings and sounds similar to an oud. although some musicians experiment with metal strings to achieve a different sound. The lavta not unlike the laouto has tied adjustable frets and paired strings tuned to C G D A. Other tunings used include G D A E and A D A D.

Construction: Sharing similar construction to the laouto and oud the lavta has a long neck although a short scale length. Frets are arranged in quarter tones. Not unlike the laouto the lavta has 4 courses of strings totaling eight.