The virtuoso

And his influence into my life!
The virtuoso:Created with 3D software by SDimis

This post may disappoint some of my blog readers, due to a referral to one of the most famous bouzouki musicians, whose name involved in great speculation regarding his innovation, to change the tuning and structure of bouzouki instrument.
But I strongly believe that, trichordoi (three-course bouzouki players) and tetrachordoi (four-course bouzouki players)
have more things uniting them, than separating them. And above all, they share the love and passion, for the good old traditional music.

This love for rebetiko music was always inside my heart.But I have to confess that the lust for the bouzouki instrument, developed after hearing the multi-talented Manoli Hioti, playing his song "You're the reason I suffer".(from the film "Lost Angels" 1948) .

ΧΑΜΕΝΟΙ ΑΓΓΕΛΟΙ - 1948 (Χιώτης-Εσύ 'σαι η αιτία) Posted on youtube by panosmar72

From a young age I had the desire, and perhaps the talent to write lyrics. At the age of eight I wrote my first song. Later, when I started to learn bouzouki, parallel to the skills of writing lyrics, I developed skills in composing melodies.

In the years followed, at the age of 15, I wrote several amateur songs. One of them I played to my bouzouki instructor and rebeti, Giorgo Manteli in one of our lessons. After hearing it he told me:

"You have a great talent creating songs .. do not give up ...

I thank him and left to my home.
At this point I should mention, that teacher Mandelis has a daughter, who is a virtuoso bouzouki player.
If I remember correctly, she had played for the opening of the great musician Vasilli Tsitsani, in one of his last concerts. I remember some photographs my teacher had shown me from that event. Unfortunately I have forgotten the type of event and her first name, after so many years.

Next time I went back for my lesson, the teacher said:

"Last week, after you played your song, my daughter who was in the next room asked me:
Father, for so many years I know all the songs you have played. This Hioti's song you've taught to your student, I've never heard it before. It sounded very nice, and I would like to learn its melody."

And of course, my teacher explained that the song she had heard was one of my own composition and lyrics.

Manolis Hiotis (Chiotis) was born on March 21st 1921, in Thessaloniki. He died in 1970, allegedly on his very birthday. He first started playing the violin, then eventually moved on to the guitar and finally the bouzouki. Right from the beginning of his career, he was recognized as a great talent.

His name is associated to the great skill of bouzouki playing. Manolis Hiotis idea of introducing the fourth-double string, separated musicians, performers, followers and bouzouki lovers into two categories: the trichords and tetrachords. A distinction was made not only in technique, but mostly ideological.

Manolis Hiotis is a personality who changed the history and evolution of music in Greece. His innovation of 4 strings on the bouzouki,whether he was the first who applied it, or the first to imposed it, may have caused (perhaps rightly) the dis-likeness of the traditional three course bouzouki players, but made the instrument to be accepted not only in Greece, but also in the whole world. It is also worth saying that "Hiotis School" really changed the destiny and future of the bouzouki in Greece.


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