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Bouzouki ( Greek μπουζούκι ) is a bowl-neck lute that is mainly used in Greek music . The Irish bouzouki ("Irish bouzouki"), on the other hand, is a cister from the box- neck lute family and, in contrast to the round-bellied bouzouki, has a flat bottom.

Design and style of play

The bouzouki is a long-necked lute with a pear-shaped body, which has been made from chips similar to the mandolin since 1910 . Earlier instruments were carved from a block of wood. The bouzouki is provided with three or four double strings made of metal, which are in the tuning dd´-aa-d´d´, gg´-aa-d´d´, aa´-ee-a´a´ or cc´- ff´-aa-d´d´ can be found. It is related to the ancient Greek tambour and the Turkish saz . Miniature versions of the three-string bouzouki are the baglamas and the tzouras .

The linguist Wilhelm Doegen made the first sound recording of a bouzouki in 1917 in a prisoner-of-war camp for Greek soldiers in Görlitz . Thanasis Manetas (1879–1942) made one of the first recordings of a bouzouki in Greece at the end of 1931 with the rembetiko song Ta dísticha tou mánga ( Τα δίστιχα του μάγκα "The distiches of the Manga").

The bouzouki is used to accompany folk songs and Greek dances . It is the most important solo instrument in the Greek rembetiko musical style . The folk musical instrument made its way into jazz through Nana Simopoulos .

Some bouzouki virtuosos


  • Stavros Kourousis: From Tambouras to Bouzouki: The History and Evolution of the Bouzouki and Its First Recordings (1926–1932) . ( Orpheumphonograph, Volume 1) History of Greek music, Athens 2013.
  • R. Conway Morris, Sandra Joyce, Niall Keegan: Bouzouki. In: Grove Music Online , 2001
  • Risto Pekka Pennanen: Westernization and Modernization in Greek Popular Music. University of Tampere, Tampere 1999 (= Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 692), Chapter 4: The organological development and performance practice of the Greek bouzouki, pp. 119-184
  • Tobe Richards: The Greek Bouzouki Chord Bible: CFAD Standard Tuning 1,728 Chords. Cabot Books, Bristol (UK) 2007, ISBN 978-0-9553944-8-5

Web links

Commons : Bouzouki  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. A look into the past, some advice for the future . Documentation on and on .
  2. Recording on
  3. Andreas Zakos: Bouzouki: The National Greek instrument . (PDF) Prague 2008/2009, p. 82 f.