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Bouzouki

BouzoukiA Greek traditional Instrument, now on holiday in Ireland.

Originally, at home, it was a three-course instruments and now it is frequently found as a 4-course instrument or tetrachordo and is often used as a rhythm instrument although skilled performers can also coax a melody out of it as well.

It started out as a long necked lute with gut frets in Persia undoubtedly with Eastern influences. As such it is a bowl back instrument. In Greece it evolved and is now forever associated with the film Zorba the Greek. Those who have visited Greece know that it is much used in a type of music called Rembetika. Johnny Moynihan is credited with introducing it to Irish music in 1966.

The trichordo is normally tuned D-A-D and the tetrachordo C-F-A-D. For Irish playing, it is either tuned G-D-A-E - the same as a mandolin or fiddle, or to a modal tuning such as A-D-A-D or G-D-A-D. The instruments have double string courses which are unison tuned, however, the Irish variant as well as having normally a flat back and slightly shorter scale length is also often octave tuned on the lower two courses.

See Also