In Ancient Greece, this instrument was known as the “pandouris” or “pandourion”, also called the “trichordo” because it had three strings;
it was the first fretted instrument known, forerunner of the various families of lutes worldwide. The source of our knowledge about this instrument is the Mantineia marble
(4th century BC, now exhibited at Athens Archaeological Museum), depicting the mythical contest between Apollo and Marsyas,
where a pandouris is being played by a muse seated on a rock.
From Byzantine times it was called the tambouras. The modern turkish Tanbur is practically identical to the ancient Greek pandouris.
On display in the National Historical Museum of Greece is the tambouras of a hero of the Greek revolution of 1821, General Makriyiannis. This tambouras bears the main morphological characteristics of the bouzouki used by the Rebetes.
The Turkish Saz and the Lebanese Buzuq belong to the same family of instruments as the bouzouki.
A middle-sized kind of saz is called a “bozouk saz”. Bozouk in Turkish means “broken, not functioning, modified”.
Here it is used in order to specify the size of the instrument. It is concluded, therefore, that the bouzouki has been named after the jargon of the Turkish saz.
An alternative popular etymology maintains that the word “Bozouk” was used because different tunings (the Turkish ‘d