New Instrument Review
March 5, 2001
© Frank Ford, 2001; Photos by FF
This one is really something. It's a fine Greek bouzouki, with multi rib bowl back made with dyed maple staves. All the inlay work is "mother-of-toilet-seat" celluloid. But, don't mistake it for a cheaptourista quality instrument. It is a professional bouzouki with an ebony fingerboard and all the trimmings. Tuned in the same intervals as the first four strings of a guitar, this is the long neck instrument that captivated the traditional Irish string band players in the 1950s, eventually resulting in the development of the flat back "Irish bouzouki," or octave mandolin. Notice the flat tab sticking out from the end of the fingerboard into the soundhole. That's for mounting the classic "Ideal" magnetic pickup. This particular bouzouki has not yet had the pickup installed.
Many of us American "baby boomers" first noticed the bouzouki as the exotic instrument featured in Anthony Quinn's hit movie of 1964, "Zorba the Greek."
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