Bouzouki Wha?

Posted on June 23, 2003, under legacy.

I’ve tried to explain the various instruments I play more than once, and I usually suck at doing it, so I’ll put some descriptions on-line, which I can point people at. I’ll start with the one I play the most, the bouzouki.

The Bouzouki

The bouzouki is an instrument that was introduced to Irish Traditional Music in the 60s, most notably by Donal Lunny (crap) and Andy Irvine (superb). Originally, it’s a greek instrument, though the modern version has been heavily modified, and most feature a flat back to the soundbox, rather than a curved one.

If you’re a complete nerd like me, you’ll be intrested to know that it’s tonal range is suprisingly bassy, and goes from 220Hz to 2.3Khz, in the tuning I use (ADAD), though in GDAD the lower range is extended downwards to 196Hz.

It’s a double-stringed instrument, with 8 strings in total tuned to 4 seperate tones. Unlike some double string instruments, most players keep the double strings in-tone rather than seperated by an octave.

It’s used mostly for modal music, which is why it’s tuned in fourths.

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