Tzouras (decorated with fire) | Collector’s Edition
From the burning ashes of a turbulent era for Greece, this tzouras (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 among the instrument of the Outcasts. It arrived in Greece in the 1900s by Asia Minor immigrants and soon became one of the most popular string instruments for the Greeks.
This particular listing is for a one-of-a-kind tzouras, handcrafted using a carefully chosen selection of premium quality woods, such as maple wood, to be able to produce deeper and richer sound, adding more complementary frequencies to your playing.
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 Tzouras can be considered as the middle brother of bouzouki and baglamas, as its fretboard's length is similar to the first but its soundbox's dimension is somewhere between the two of them. It is also called "μεσομπούζουκο", meaning half-bouzouki.
If bouzouki is preferred for the ease of playing it and baglamas for the ease of moving it around, tzouras is positioned directly in the middle. All these three instruments are descendants of the Byzantine's pandouras and tambouras. The also known Irish bouzouki is a more recent development that emerged after the introduction of the Greek instrument into Irish music by J. Moynihan in 1965
Endorsed by the Best
Great performers using LUTHIEROS Tzouras
^ Vangelis Petriniotis, a Ph.D. Candidate and expert on the rebetiko genre, playing a LUTHIEROS Tzouras.
v LUTHIEROS premium instruments during an event at TSITSANIS MUSEUM (Trikala, Greece).
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 Tzouras 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.
Our research is featured in major media:
With Each Order You Will Receive
Tuning and maintenance guide
A pack of extras
Extra small gifts to say "thank you" for making our family's dream possible!
A digital book with 9 well-known traditional Greek melodies of the time-era, along with lyrics and historical details.
Someone you can trust
We love what we do, and we deeply care about our musicians.
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"All of these beautiful lyres, lovingly hand-crafted by Luthieros are indeed, divine artifacts, reintroduced into the modern world… " - Michael Levy, a world-renowned lyre player. Read his extended review here.
"Electric guitars are very often provided with vibrato, tremolo or whammy bars. That concept was in fact invented by the ancient Greeks twenty four hundred years ago. Kithara was a musical instrument very popular during the Golden Age of Ancient Greece. This is a reproduction that was made by the Greek master luthier Anastasios Koumartizis of Luthiers Music Instruments." - Peter Pringle, a professional Canadian musician, and well-known ancient instruments player. Watch his extended video review here.
"Can't be happier with my lyre! Learning how to play this amazing piece of art! The lyre has amazing finishes and you can feel it's made with love and skilfull hands." - Jaume Gual Bennàssar, Balearic Islands, Spain (verified review through Etsy.com).
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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).
"Amazing company! I was very skeptical about ordering an instrument online but it was packaged very safely and arrived in such a timely manner! Luthieros also has some of the best communication skills I've ever encountered with a company, I had many questions that were all answered with great detail shortly after I asked them." - Batherus Batherus, New York, U.S.A. (verified review through Etsy.com).
"The Koumartzis familia have been making replicas of ancient Greek instruments for many years, used by famous lyre players. They also contribute to their musical passions through research and collaborations." - Ancient History Encyclopedia. Read the extended tribute here.
"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).
Tzouras (decorated with fire) | Collector’s Edition