From Stathopoulo to Kwnstantinoupoli (Istanbul)

A new route!
.An old map of Greece

This journey back in time, when bouzouki instrument was still in hybrid form, has taken its own course. Sometimes destiny plays unexpected games with us, moving the strings of our decisions in a very enigmatic way.

I could not ask for a more suitable instrument maker, than Giannis Tsoulogiannis, ( ) to create my last two custom made bouzoukia. When I ordered my first custom instrument from him, I had collected few information regarding his talent and skills. But I took the "risk", and I never regretted!

The first bouzouki Giannis made for me, was a four course bouzouki with an amazing deep, full sound, very similar to the sound recordings of 1950s golden era, and a sound of La (A) strings which any professional luthier will envy!

The second one , a pre-war style three course bouzouki, inspired from instruments created by the famous luthiers A.Stathopoulos and Theodoros Karabas on which , Giannis has done a life time research, and has decoded their techniques in craftsmanship and sound. An instrument with a very sharp, loud, dry sound, excellent chap, and the great ability to sustain over time, similar to the pre-war bouzouki instruments of 1920s-1930s.

Above everything in this journey, I got the opportunity to create a strong and valuable friendship with the luthier, which will remain for a life time. I enjoyed having great discussions around the secrets of the traditional lutherie, but also sharing life experiences, opinions and views. It is very rare to find these days, a talented luthier who has so strong values and moralities in life, as Giannis has!

But this new creation, involving an instrument inspired by the ancestors of the bouzouki as we know it today, especially by tampoura, sazi, boulgari instruments, had a completely new dynamic in it. I was looking to design a bouzouki which may has been used during the time way before 1900, in cities of Asia Minor, and Kwnstantinoupoli (Istanbul).

I was looking for a luthier who specializes in traditional instruments, and who keeps strong bonds with instrument makers from Asia Minor, and Kwnstantinoupoli (Istanbul), having an oriental overall aesthetic to his instrument creations.

During my research, creating an oriental tzoura back in 2010, I had stopped on Tasos Theodorakis website ( and I had admired his traditional creations, which have a "Politiko" style and aesthetics on them. His family roots and his strong bonds with Kwnstantinoupoli (Istanbul) , made him the best candidate to create my last tampouro-bouzouko project.

From the first emails, I was able to notice his passion, and love for traditional lutherie , his attention to details, his "oriental aesthetics", but also his experience and skills in instrument making, by his suggestions regarding the construction, sound and the tone of the instrument.

From the majestic mainland of Moria, and the reputed birthplace of A. Stathopoulo and his compatriot Giannis Tsoulogiannis, to the beautiful city of the North, (Thessaloniki), the luthier Tasos Theodorakis, and his strong influences from Kwnstantinoupoli (Istanbul), this journey still exists, changing its path, to serve the creation of an old, genuine tampouro-bouzouko.

From the 1950s era, to the 1920s " Golden Twenties" era, to the times before 1880s and the aroma of Byzantine, the time in this blog is in reverse gear!


Popular Posts