Re-writing an older post

And the two sides of the same coin!

Satirizing the conflict between Amateur and Master luthiers! 
Trying to play the referee, I think I was the one who got the most punches !

After receiving for consecutive days, multiple requests from followers who do not read or speak Greek , asking to explain the reasons I have subtracted an article from the blog, and my formal statement regarding Amateur Lutherie, I judged, it was necessary to write this post.

For this reason, and due to the complexity of the topic, I had to create a custom personal terminology :


1. Erasitexnis ( Lover of the Art ) :The passionate enthusiast who creates Art motivated by his great love for it.
2. Apeiros/ Mathiteuomenos ( Amateur) : The technically not yet ready, inexperienced, career person.
3. Deksiotexnis (Master) : The technically skilled and experienced , career person.
4. Epaggelmatias (Professional) : The  person  with high professionalism, morality standards and ethos.

The Events

On November 13 th 2013 for first time in "Memories" history I subtracted an article I have written regarding the cost of traditional musical  instruments created by some Apeirous ( Amateur- have not master yet all their skills) career people.
Back then I had  unsuccessfully named them Erasitexnes ( Lovers of the Art), but I now judge that this terminology was not the most suitable as the term Erasitexnis is being used in Greek language to also describe inefficient training, knowledge, and skills which a career person may have.

The use of this terminology meant to cause a long , at some points constructive and at most points pointless , and unpleasant discussion in forum ( a forum consisting in majority by members who are  lovers of the musical instruments making) regarding what is right and wrong, amateur and professional , with good or poor quality, expensive or fair, legal or illegal, necessary or unnecessary, in bouzouki making.

My main purpose creating the original article , was to point out a new phenomenon, expressing my disagreement for high prices which some of the amateur luthiers have started to sell their instruments, after feedback received by followers and a small personal market research. 

I was comparing them with the Professionals, (another term which I think was not suitable rather with Masters in lutherie) , and with  "induction in atopic" formula, I was trying to figure out a reasonable  mathematical   equation  of what should be a logical sale price for an average, good bouzouki instrument created these days by an Amateur luthier. 

Using the term of Erasitexnis ( Lover of the Art) in a forum as the (full of passionate enthusiasts, who with few tools,  bare hands,  and  a lot of love in instrument making, create inspirational pieces of Art), meant to be my Waterloo !

I subtracted the post when I quickly noticed that some of the readers were trying to guess names of Amateur luthiers who are charging high prices, rather to evaluate the  causes and the results of this new phenomenon in Amateur Lutherie .

And since some of the Amateur luthiers are good friends of mine, by subtracting the post I tried to also protect their names and reputation, especially after accusations I received by some readers regarding my "hidden" intentions writing the post , having this blog, or even creating Art!

Two sides of the same coin

The truth is somewhere in the middle, or they are two sides of the same coin.
For a lot of years, the monopolization of bouzouki instruments created by Master luthiers asking for extremely high prices, left deep and unhealed  wounds in  bouzouki lovers' and enthusiasts' world.
It was a period of time when some famous luthiers (especially from Athens) were charging astronomical prices of thousand of euros ( back then was drachmas) for a decent bouzouki.
And some of them with misinformation , were trying to create myths of what is a good quality bouzouki and with good sound, tricking their unsuspected customers.
Keeping the techniques and knowledge  of lutherie as a well hidden secret, they also kept the monopolization for a lot of years, and their prices very high.

Something started to change when some of the famous luthiers tentatively started to share part of their knowledge, and more bouzouki enthusiasts began to engage with bouzouki construction.

Passionate amateur luthiers and bouzouki lovers, started to experiment with bouzouki construction, to a point where some of them decoded the "famous secrets" from the Masters,and created great musical instruments.
These same people were not afraid to share publicly the process of their creations and the "secrets" , through forums as the, videos in youtube, and personal blog/websites.

When more enthusiasts got involved, then the monopolization of bouzouki instruments by some  famous luthiers fell apart.
In combination with the economical crisis in Greece, prices by the famous luthiers started for first time in years to decrease. It was the time every bouzouki enthusiast was waiting for!
Some people who took the risk and bought bouzouki instruments from amateur luthiers, as myself, realized that their creations sometimes had similar  quality as the ones created by some  "master luthiers'.

Recently,  a new phenomenon appeared where some of the Amatuer luthiers started to increase their prices to higher levels , equal or sometimes greater than the price quotes given by master luthiers.
It is very important in my opinion to examine the causes and the results from such a  phenomenon.


. The Erasitexnes ( Art lovers) will always create Art, sometimes in higher standards and quality than the Masters in lutherie. Their Art in instrument making cant be priced with a mathematical formula, as they take so much pride and love for what they do.

2. The Amateur luthiers could be sometimes Erasitexnes ( Art lovers) who  due to life circumstances and survival reasons, forced to put a price on their creations very early in their instrument making life.May also be just young luthiers under training. 

3. Master luthiers can also be Erasitexnes ( Art lovers) , who at some point of their lives, transformed  their passion to a career. But again, can also be just business people (with extended or not) experience in musical instrument making.

4. Professionals are the Masters , Amateur, and Art Lovers who  behave, and treat with great ethos and professionalism.

5. At the initial question : What price the Amateur luthiers should sell their instruments? , I cant find a fair answer.

My mathematical formula simply doesn't work, as at the possibility that these people could be Erasitexnes whose life pushed them to sell their beloved creations just to survive, or to buy tools and equipment for their next creation, makes their instruments simply..... priceless!

6. But, in a global economical crisis, as the one we all live these days, those luthiers who charge excessive amounts for the construction of a  musical instrument, (regardless in which category of  instrument makers they belong), sooner or later, the market itself will force them to reconsider their tactics and actions.
After all, Greek folk musical instruments called Laika (Popular= for the middle-class people) , since they appeal to a large crowd of people coming from a low income. 
Unfortunately in times of economic crisis phenomena of easy profit will always exist, reminding us that one of the key element for a successful bouzouki order/ transaction with a luthier, is a lot of good research.

7. I would advice the ones who have contacted me in the past, regarding my opinion in buying a musical instruments from Amatuer  luthiers, to make an intense research, comparing quality of construction, materials been used, quality of sound, stability of the musical instruments, reputation of the maker, ethos and professionalism of the maker, and finally price quotes between all the above 4 groups ( and all the in-between combinations ) of luthier's world.
I am sure someone can find in any of the 4 groups, luthiers who can create with a lot of love and passion, quality musical  instruments which can last for a lifetime, and in affordable prices.

From astronomical high, to lower, to recently higher, to fair, bouzouki instrument prices  have fluctuated the last few years following the offer-demand of the Greek market, and the economical crisis which dominates the country. 

It is very hopeful that despite the difficult economic crisis in Greece, the recent years, more and more Greeks turned into the traditional Rebetiko music, as it suitably expresses their deepest emotions, and experiences in life. 

And it is also positive that some luthiers  create quality musical instruments at affordable prices, enabling more and more enthusiasts  of  the Rebetiko era to re-discover its beauty and its  timelessness!


  1. Dear Spyro,

    Despite our by-far good virtual relationship, I am afraid that I cannot keep my temper but characterising your article as a non-productive pile of bull turd!

    I really cannot follow: why one would spend meaningless efforts trying to subcategorise people who create instruments! An amateur cannot have beyond passion (=μεράκι) ethos as well?!

    If a product corresponds to your needs and you can financially afford it, you are set, regardless who has created it. As simple as it is!

    You have once expressed your admiration and respect to Master Kafetzopoulos for his ethos (and he deserves it indeed!). He himself states it clearly in his interview: “There are no secrets in lutherie!!”.

    Therefore I feel puzzled and sorry for you with this whole worthless “roller-coaster” which you are putting yourself into.

    Additionally, I take the chance to express the bad impression you left to me and many common rebetiko friends (I don’t want to name them), when you have ebayed the politico bouzouki of Master Tassos Theodorakis ALMOST DIRECTLY after receiving it!

    Certainly no one has the right to tell you how to treat your property and I fully respect that. But I consider the action far controversial to your “innocent age” motto and undoubtedly disrespect to Master Tasso!



    1. Dear Pikinos

      Of course an Amatuer luthier can have ethos , as I am mentioning in my post.( professionals can be Amatuer , art lovers , and masters)

      I dont want to explain further why in my opinion a new phenomen of high prices in amateur lutherie has to be mentioned and each one of us can calculate the causes and the results of such a phenomenon

      As for my respect to the master luthier Tasos Theodorakis , has nothing to do with my action listing the Politiko instrument on eBay
      Since I was at the same time in contact with the luthier discussing a new version of the Politiko with construction elements closer to taboura

      I don't really understand why some rebetiko friends would feel upset or offended ( by my intentions to sell an isntrument) when really no one could know what I was discussing with the luthier at that time, or what my economical situation was at that period of time.

      And as I have clearly expressed in a forum question regarding the reason I was selling the Politiko, this had nothing to do with the work of Tasos.
      I will also remind you that last year I also sold two Tsoulogiannis instrument on eBay, and this year I am receiving a new one from Giannis.
      So my action (selling an instrument) has nothing to do with my respect or not to a luthier .

      Unfortunately someone who is judging without knowing the real reasons can come up to very wrong conclusions

      And unfortunately if this blog doesn't express memories with an innocent moto
      for you, this blog has really nothing to offer to you !



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