Baglamas (decorated with fire) | Collector’s Edition
From the burning ashes of a turbulent era for Greece, this baglamas (decorated with fire) is a premium musical instrument of the famous rebetiko genre, forbidden and destroyed on-site by the military junta during its reign (1967-1974). It is considered to be the instrument of the Outcasts, as its small size enabled the musicians to hide it underneath their coat whenever encountered by the police. It arrived in Greece in the 1900s by Asia Minor immigrants and soon became one of the most popular string instruments.
This particular listing is for a one-of-a-kind baglama, handcrafted using a carefully chosen selection of premium quality woods such as tilia for the instrument’s body, fir for the soundboard, wenge for the fretboard, and maple for the neck.
Furthermore, it is decorated with fire by the hands of a gifted Greek pyrography artist. There are detailed ornaments on almost every part of the instrument (soundboard, soundbox, neck, et cetera), inspired by the rich landscape and culture of Greece and Minor Asia.
LUTHIEROS Baglamas can be considered as the smaller version of bouzouki pitched an octave higher (D-A-D), with unison pairs of the four highest strings and an octave pair on the lower D. This string instrument is quite popular among musicians who need an instrument easy-enough to carry around and at the same time able to produce rich and deep sound. It is the main instrument to accompany the bouzouki in any music band playing rebetiko, a genre that in many senses is the Greek blues.
Historic Accuracy & Playability
It's not a battle. It's about finding the right balance.
^ Old photograph showing Greek musicians of the rebetiko genre playing bouzouki, tzouras, and baglamas in the Piraeus region (port near Athens) in 1933.
< Old photograph showing Greek musicians of the rebetiko genre playing bouzouki, tzouras, and baglamas in the Piraeus region (port near Athens) in 1933.
Bringing Bits of Greek History Back to Life
To handcraft premium replicas with a focus to the modern musician, you have to research a lot, analyze hundreds of ancient depictions, build a lot of prototypes, test them with great musicians, etc.
And all of these, to conclude to meaningful compromises that have to be made, that are both deeply justified and make sense in terms of usability/playability. All in all, our ultimate goal is to serve the modern musician and to bring bits of Greek history back to life as fully functional musical instruments.
Manufactured at the premises of the village Europos (Northern Greece) by a family of musicians and luthiers that came to Greece from Asia Minor as immigrants at the dawn of the 20th century. LUTHIEROS Baglamas is made using natural materials available during the antiquity. Every kind of wood that is used for each part of the instrument is carefully chosen, taking into account its musicality and durability, but also staying close to the instrument’s tradition.
This part of Greek history was evolved to become a modern musical instrument ready to be used by both amateur and professional musicians. For all the minor (but very important) alterations, top-notch technologies were used during the prototyping phase (such as 3d Modeling and rapid prototyping) as part of University-based research by members of LUTHIEROS family. Key collaborations include the International Hellenic University and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Aydin, A. F. 2014. The Melodic Characteristics of Greek Rebetika Music: A Comparative Study on the Dromos and the Maqams. J. Elsner, G. Jähnichen & J. Talam Maqām, Historical Traces and Present Practice in Southern European Music Traditions.
Pappas, N. 1999. Concepts of Greekness: The Recorded Music of Anatolian Greeks after 1922. Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Vol.17.
Pennanen, R.P. 2008. The development of chordal harmony in Greek rebetika and laika music, 1930s to 1960s, British Journal of Ethnomusicology, Vol. 6, Issue 1, 1997.
Petropoulos, E. 2000. Songs of the Greek Underworld, The Rebetika Tradition. Translated by Ed Emery. Saqi Books. London.
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"It’s handcrafted with such care and the materials are fine and well chosen. It arrived to us safely all the way from Greece and we were able to track it all the way so we always knew what was happening." - Rachel Loeb, Los Angeles, U.S.A. (verified review through Etsy.com).
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"My ancient Kithara, handcrafted by Luthieros Music Instruments, is for me a very interesting challenge. As an instrument is both old and new. It carries a history of many centuries and at the same time_ it is a very modern challenge that requires a creative approach to musical archetypes. After many experiments […] I discover that this instrument has but many extensions and features that are not noticeable at first glance. The construction is both sturdy and thin, and made of quality woods, which are eclectic, stylish and durable." - Ross Daly, a professional world musician of Irish descent.
"Absolutely fantastic! A truly wonderfully crafted instrument. I can’t put it down. It feels wonderful to play and is transporting me back in time." - Sarah Tilsley, West Sussex, U.K. (verified review through Etsy.com).
Baglamas (decorated with fire) | Collector’s Edition