Instrument under extinction?
Giannis has informed me today, that he glued his label inside my bouzouki's bowl and officially he is ready to start packing it. I asked him to send me the last photo, before the 5,000 miles journey begins.
All these years, I have heard and read allot of speculation, regarding the durability of the bouzouki construction and the comparison to other instruments, as the violin or the guitar.
One of the main questions most of bouzouki lovers are asking is, what is the average life span for an expensive instrument, as a bouzouki.
Lets see together, some of its unique construction and technical characteristics:
The very thin thickness of the sound board, the extreme forces of the 6 to 8 strings in relation to the long length of the neck, the absence of bracket under the soundboard, where the bridge sits, the small width of the neck, are some of the key factors, why bouzouki is a "sensitive" instrument.
I do not know if it is pure coincidence that a construction such as the bouzouki, with the technical "features" (and the ancestors of it) appeared, spread and developed in the larger area of the Mediterranean-Asia Minor.
There is perhaps no coincidence that many bouzouki, shipped to USA these days, have "truss rod" ,"carbon fiber", or 5-7 laminated woods in the neck. And it is no coincidence, that great instruments made by famous luthiers, survived in Greece for a lifetime, when similar instruments didn't last more than 10-15 years, when sent abroad
Maybe at the end, the bouzouki would be a very different instrument at its construction and components from what we know today (to be able to withstand the environmental conditions), if the country of its origin was different, even if the sounds and musical influences were the same.
Following my thoughts to a fantasy scenario, at an event that the climate would rapidly change to extreme conditions, maybe we would be talking for an instrument under extinction, if its construction was remaining under the same technical characteristics as the one appeared at the beginning of the 20th century.