Recording Studio: The bouzouki belongs to a family of long neck lute instruments such as Saz, Tanbur and Bouzouk. The name “Bouzouki” is believed to derive from “Bozuk” which means “broken”, possibly referring to the alteration of the tuning of this instrument from the Anatolian/ Central Asian.
The recording studio bouzouki’s roots extend back to the long-necked lutes of ancient Persia and Byzantium. During the Byzantine period, the Bouzouki was known as Thampoura or the Tampoura The early bouzoukis had three courses (six strings in three pairs) and were generally tuned to D3A3D4.
Recording Studio: Bouzouki in Greece
The bouzouki was introduced in Greece when the ethnic Greeks fled to Greece during the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey after the 1919-1922 war in Asia Minor.
The refugees brought with them the music known as Smyrneika, which made use of the arabic lute (al ud or ‘outi’ as the Greeks called it). Soon the outi was replaced by the bouzouki and the Smyrneika style fused into the Rembetika.
3string and 6string The early bouzoukis were Trichordo, with three courses (six strings in three pairs) and were generally tuned to D3/D4 A3 D4. This tuning fits in well with the music of the Middle East, as an open chord is neither major nor minor, allowing great flexibility with the melody. 3string bouzoukis are still being made, and are very popular with aficionados of Rembetika. The 6 string did not offer many easy movements, but it was unbeatable when it came to the taximia (solos). The great late Yiannis Papaioannou, an early player of the 6 string bouzouki, is still considered the best all-time taxim player.
4string and 8string ((eight strings in four pairs)After the Second World War, Tetrachordo bouzoukis started to appear. It is believed that the first person who added a fourth string was Stefanakis while others believe that it was Anastasios Stathopoulos. The 4string was made popular by the late Manolis Chiotis who first introduced the instrument to the High Society and played in front of the then Monarch of Greece.