Yovan Tsaous

His unique music and instruments!

Inspired by the great musician Yovan Tsaous '(Giannis Eitziridis or Eintziridis) and his famous tzouro-tampoura(made by the luthier Kyriakos Lazaridis-Pesmatzoglou), I created a unique tzoura design.
My tzouras:Created with 3D software by SDimis (c) 2010

Giannis Eitziridis (1893-1942) or Yovan Tsaous {Became "Tsaous" because of his military service as a Sergeant in the Turkish Army (Sergeant=Tsao)} was from Pontic origin, and it's said to have played in the courtyard of the Sultan Abdul Achmit.After the Asia Minor catastrophe he immigrated to Greece, he lived and worked mainly as a tailor, opposite the Piraeus railway station, in which he saw the suffering of refugees and the homeless.He has written around 12 songs which feature the unique beauty and uniqueness of music.It is said that, the lyrics of his songs wrote his wife.He died from poisoning during the German occupation in 1942!

I could not resist to not post one of the best Rebetiko songs, composed by Yovan Tsaous.This song has a truly idiosyncratic character, and resemble no other song of that period, in its melody and rhythm.

Concert from the Ancient theater of Irodio.Singing Babis Tsertos.Posted on youtube by askimaki

5 μάγκες του Περαία

Yovan Tsaous is particularly noted for the unique/innovating instruments he played. They were custom-built for him in Piraeus by the luthier Kyriakos Peismatoglou, and differed in two important respects from other plucked long-necked lutes used in Greece at this time:
First, they were not fretted according to the equal temperament division of the octave into twelve identical semitones. Instead they had sixteen frets to the octave, which permitted, among other things, the playing of microtonally different intervals such as the so-called three-quarter tone, and the neutral third, at certain positions on the fretboard.
Secondly, the neck of these instruments was hollow, not made by solid wood , but as a continuation of the bowl's staves, with the philosophy to work as an extra resonator.

Details of the body-headstock:Created with 3D software by SDimis (c) 2010


  1. Hello my friend really nice work!!!!
    I have one of your digital made tzouras as a wallpaper in my cell phone:)

    Please tell me which software didi you use to make them?....It seems interesting.

    If yuo want send me in blekos1@yahoo.gr


    keep it up

  2. Dear Blekos,

    after a long time, finaly I found your comment and I replied to your email!Thank you for your kind words.If you need any of my designs in bigger size let me know.


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