Irish bouzouki



Bouzoukis were introduced into Irish Traditional Music in the 1970s, by Johnny Moynihan and Alec Finn, and popularised by Andy Irvine and Dónal Lunny. Irish music relies less on virtuoso melodies played on double courses, and more on the bass courses, so they got rid of the octave strings which only confuse things and replaced them with pairs tuned to the same note. They used a tuning of G2D3A3D4 or A2D3A3D4, which ironically is closer to the original Greek instrument than modern Greek ones are. The bouzouki is now an important part of the Irish trad scene.

Among builders, the Irish Bouzouki is considered to be part of the Irish mandolin family consisting of the mandolin, mandola, and octave mandolin, with each member representing a standard voice and possessing a progressively larger body size. The octave mandolin includes the Irish bouzouki and Irish cittern, each loosely distinguished by scale length and number of courses. While there are no standard definitions at present, the bouzouki typically has the longest scale length, and the cittern may have five courses (ten strings). However, for some builders and players, the terms "bouzouki", "cittern", and "octave mandolin" are synonymous.


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