Imagining the Hybrid years

A feast of shapes and sounds!

During its hybrid years before 1900s, the bouzouki instrument was trying to find its own identity, by borrowing elements and shapes from its affiliated ancestors.

From the sweet sound of Mandola and the Neapolitan Mandolin, to the dry and deep, oriental sound of the Taboura, to the deep, full, and powerful sound of the Laouto, bouzouki instrument meant to change its shape, its scale, its construction, and its timbre, constantly.

During that era, I imagine that luthiers were constructing the "new" instrument, accordingly to their stock of materials and  their personal preferences.
It must have been a feast of shapes and sounds, as the new instrument was going through its major evolution time.

Using and alternating mandolins, mandolas, tabourades and laouta, some luthiers experimented with shorter neck instruments, moveable frets, strings made by guts, wooden pegs on the head-stock. Others created longer neck instruments, introducing metal strings, moveable silver & stable metal frets, mandolin tuning machines on the head-stock
The shape and the volume of the resonator changed multiple times until its construction became stable enough to hold the new forces from the metal strings.
Influenced by the Neapolitan mandolin some luthiers used the characteristic step on the sound board, where others looking at tabourades, created instruments with a flat surface.

Without knowing what exactly happened in the years that followed, and what were the main reasons,  the predominance of the Mandola/ Mandolin model,  (with the step on the sound board, the stable metal frets and the metal tuning machines on the headstock), must be the result of many experiments, research on failures of many hybrid instruments, and comparison of durability, sound, and functionality between different construction types of early  bouzoukia.

Pre-war resonator shape

Happy Greek Independence Day and Annunciation of Virgin Mary.


  1. Σπύρο οι αναρτήσεις σου είναι εξαιρετικές, διαλεγμένες,θεωρώ το ιστολόγιο σου masterpiece!!! Πάντα καλά φίλε μου σε χαιρετώ!!!

  2. Na sai kala mastora!!!
    Kai egw vlepw tis omorfes kataskeues sou sto Kai to meraki sou se kapoia katapliktika skafh pou exeis ftaiksei !!!



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