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Bouzouki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The bouzouki (plural sometimes transliterated as bouzoukia) is the mainstay of modern Greek music. It is a stringed instrument with a pear-shaped body and a very long neck. The bouzouki is a member of the ‘long neck lute‘ family and is similar to a mandolin. The front of the body is flat and is usually heavily inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The instrument is played with a plectrum and has a sharp metallic sound.

Many musicians such as Manolis Chiotis and Giorgos Zampetas began using specially designed pickups to achieve a slightly thicker humbucker-like sound in the mid-1960s. These pickups are widely used by several Greek artists today and came in active and (usually) passive versions. Bouzouki pickup manufacturers include EMG, Lace Actodyne and Seymour Duncan.

There are two main types of bouzouki:

  • Three-course, having three pairs of strings (courses).
  • Four-course, having four pairs of strings.

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