Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

I just had a look at the schedule for the Willie Clancy summer school and did not find any bouzouki sessions. I was hoping to pick up a few classes on my brief tour next summer :- !

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

I went back to your discussion on ITBanjo to post a comment.
I now play bouzouki every day, but not as an ITM instrument. It’s a Flatiron (read flat top). Wherever I play, I have to explain that it is just a mandolin, with hormone problems. But enough of that, since I changed the tuning to ADAD I can’t play mandolin tunes that I used to play (unless I really want to, which requires me to go back to the woodshed).

I wish I knew what others think about the place of the bouzouki in ITM. I can rip off a long string of notes in time, in tune, not as fast as pros, but decent, but I couldn’t tell you how or when to play rhythmic accompaniment. I do a lot of "cold-trailing" until I understand where the tune is going, then, since I use open tuning, I can throw in some "emphasis" or accent:"diads" (even triads) while playing melody, or contramelody.
It takes me a couple repetitions before I can make a contribution but if the tunegets more than the standard three reps before the next tune, at least I have the tonal center to consider for the next time I encounter the tune. ITM instrument? I don’t know why not. It’s not the instrument that should be questioned, but the way you approach the music.WB

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

I’m in the process of buying one right now, CC. The instrument did not originate in Ireland, of course, but pioneers like Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny have made it what it is today. At present, I guess people condsider the bouzouki to be a step up from the guitar in rhthym accompaniment because of its more "droney", modal tone. I think an Irish bouzouki is perfectly suited to Irish music - just listen to any DERVISH record and you’ll know what I mean. As for Greek 8-strings, Alec Finn of De Dannan continues to make use of one a friend bought him in Greece about the time Planxty was gaining popularity in the folk revival.

~Sean

Posted .

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

A somewhat dangerous question to ask, in view of the fact that the Webmaster of this site plays one ๐Ÿ™‚

Trevor (0045hrs GMT+1)

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

As far as I recall, Alec Finn plays a 6-string Greek model tuned D-A-D, not an 8-string. I believe fiddler Mick Conneely also plays a Greek 6-stringer.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

I have been a great admirer of Alec Finn’s style since I met him nearly 30 years ago. De Danaan was in town and came to our folk club after a concert. I remember being somewhat insulted that he wouldn’t have one of my homebrews when offered him. He asked if I was a professional, which I admitted I was not, so he declined (which I later deduced was the safest thing to do if he wanted to be honest with me and keep from hurting my feelings). Of course that ‘s a rather liberal view considering that I now believe he prefers whiskey to brews. I suppose he was a considerable influence on me, except for the beer part, but I have to admit that to this day I couldn’t explain to you any more about his style than I could my own. I just know what I like, and I liked what Alec did and sometimes, but not always, I like what I do. Some say that Contentment is Wealth, but they also say something else about ignorance that has an altogether different connotation.

And what "style" might we expect to hear if Jeremy was in our session? WB

I’m asking speculators, not Jeremy.

Was Arabic, was Turkish, was Bulgarian, was Greek, was Irish,

http://www.mcdonaldstrings.com/Chap1.pdf
short description of the evolution of the bouzouki by Graham McDonald. Claims the Greek roundback is only 100 years old, and derived from Turkish saz and Italian roundback mandolin. The Irish have just continued the tradition of playing with the form! So it is very traditional!

Oh.. and IS Australian now, seeing Dow and I play them.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

I don’t know. You’d better ask Seamus Tansey. ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

My son wanted one for his 18th but after he played every intrument in the shop (and had an expert accompanying him), he ended up getting an octave mandola (by Paul Shippey of Bristol) - it suited ITM better.
Octave mandola are something also worth looking into.
He is now the centre of attraction at sessions as everyone wants a look at it.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

??? The only difference between an Irish zouk and an OM is scale length. Is that why you think an OM is better suited to ITM? ::not getting it::

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

What’s the difference between an Octave Mandolin and an Octave Mandola. I always presumed that the Octave prefix just referred to the fact that it is one octave down from whatever. So the Top E on an Octave Mandolin is same as top E on std tuning guitar. The Mandola gets tuned in different ways but is this a fifth down from the Mandolin. How can this make it easy to play melody when the melodic range suits fiddle (=mandolin). The octave Mandolin is the same melodic range only one octave lower and the Irish Zouk the same depending on the tuning.
I think I may be missing something here. Help!

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Better suited to ITM - do you mena better suited for melody playing?
Scale length isn’t the only difference I thought, doesn’t the tension of the string for OM suit lead playing more than the bouzouki(strings are thinner) which is more suited for accompaning (generally).

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Donough, octave mandolin and octave mandola are the same thing. The mandola term used to be used more in Europe and mandolin was more common in the States, but that’s not really the case anymore. Octave mandolin is the more accurate term, since as you say the tuning’s one octave down from a mandolin. BegF you’re right about the string gauges/tension, but they are only different because the scale length is different.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Aggreed, and I’m wondering is that what he means when he says it’s better suited to ITM.
I think he means better suited for the melody.

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Yeah he must do, surely.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Right then.

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

So anyway, "is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?"

Yes.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

How about "plate smashing" as an alternative accompaniment instead of the bodhran. this discussion is all Greek to me, anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Oh yes, sorry.

Yes, I consider it one anyway, I’m sure others don’t. But it’s definitly here to stay.

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

An Irish traditional instrument is any instrument on which you play Irish traditional music.
Simple really

PP

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Like the shakey egg.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

This might help you see the range of possibles.
Using standard ABC notation, except that
the bar | reprsents "middle C"
Tuning for
Oct.Mandolin Mandola Fiddle Mandolin
standard G,,D,A,|E C,G,|DA G,|DAe G,|DAe
alt.1 A,,D,A,|D D,A,|DA
alt.2 G,,D,A,|D D,G,|DG


WB

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Repost with spaces
This might help you see the range of possibles.
Using standard ABC notation, except that
the bar | reprsents "middle C"
Tuning for
Oct.Mandolin Mandola Fiddle Mandolin
standard G,,D,A,|E C,G,|DA G,|DAe G,|DAe
alt.1 A,,D,A,|D D,A,|DA
alt.2 G,,D,A,|D D,G,|DG


WB

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

it won’t accept my spacing.
hope you can figure it out.
Sorry if it is confusing.
WB

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

NO NO NO The piano accordion is the only true ITM instrument ever. All others are merely imitators!

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

I also have an authentic "Greek" bouzouki, which is 6 strung, tuned D,A|D which is the same as the alt.1 tuning of the Octave mandolin. It is round backed carved from solid mahogany. The authenticity was compromised when I insisted that I only wanted 6 tuners instead of the more authentic 8 tuners on the early instruments. Apparently the early instruments used prefab headstocks from Italian makers of mandolins. So the real Greek bouzouki has 8 instead of 6 tuners, 2 not being used. The scale length is about 2" longer than th OM
WB

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

yes. bouzouki, cittern, cister, mandolin - family.
a similar question could be: does accompaniment belong to itm?
when was the nowadays used flute invented?
how old are the pipes?
is the bodhrans history true?
the guitar! the concertina!
remains: harp and whistle. sean nos.

but: there is no: zouk, fid, flu, whis, conc,
pip!!!!!!

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

adae, perhaps the accompaniment point is the issue or is it that schools of ITM don’t believe that backers need to be educated?

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

woops! - finn does play a 6 string doesn’t he

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

I’ve been accompanying Irish music on and off for about 25 years, mainly on guitar, but I also have a bouzouki. The Irish bouzouki tends to be more easily accepted than the guitar in the more "purist" circles, but it really depends how the instrument is played. Most bouzouki players use one of the two common modal tunings (ADAD or GDAD), so the instrument "sounds" more Irish - also the double strings help to give a more baroque/mediaeval sound.

As I’m a much better guitar player than I am a bouzouki player, I tend to adapt standard tuning and play mostly modal chords - difficult but not impossible, and in general I try to avoid the dreaded capo, especially in mid-set. Over the years I’ve evolved my own style - however a lot of traditional guitar accompanists use "open" tunings - typically DADGAD. To be honest I find this very limiting and use of a capo is virtually mandatory for open tunings.

In my opinion, guitar or bouzouki are generally much more suitable as accompanying ITM instruments than keyboard/piano - again it depends on the style of the musician.

I can’t for the life of me understand how organisations such as Comahaltas promote the use of ELECTRONIC keyboards as acceptable accompanying instruments, while continuing to frown on the use of bouzoukis and guitars. Electronic keyboards (unless they are very high quality) are by their nature less variable and senstive than acoustic keyboards - reducing the available expression and affecting the overall spirit of the ensemble.

Most keyboard accompanists that I have heard in the last year are absolutely dreadful and they are usually only capable of pleaying in the hackneyed "vamping" style which is about as traditional as Glenn Miller.

It is high time that bouzouki and guitar accompaniment was fostered and taught under the umbrella of the main Irish music bodies. In fairness to CCE Monkstown, they did ask me to teach guitar a number of years ago, but this is uncommon. I do feel that the Willie Clancy Summer School should include guitar and/or bouzouki in their curriculum - if only to provide some basic principles to the legions of people who assume that they can accompany Irsh music based on a rudimentary understanding of basic chords. This is actually what has sometimes given bouzouki/guitar accompaniment a bad name - in fairness to most bouzouki players, they are usually a little bit more knowledgable about ITM itself, which improves the quality of their accompaniment.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Hi lysaghtm.
By modal chords, do you mean chords built on a model scale ?

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

It is worth noting that The Willie Clancy Summer School also has no classes in piano accordion, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, piano or bodhran. It would appear that the ethos of the school is to teach those instruments which have a well established place in the West Clare tradition - fiddle, concertina, pipes, flute, whistle and button accordion.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Modal chords - basically open chords which give the melody player more space to express themselves, like not full chords.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

he means those chords which are neither major nor minor but could be either doesn’t he?

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

There’s no such thing as modal chords.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Is there not ?

I know some people incorrectly call chords without the 3rd,
modal chords - which isn’t reallt a problem when everyone
know’s what they mean.

But I thought modal chords were chords built on modal scales
but were not used for the scale they were built off.

eg. D Mixoldian scale D E F# G A B C D
a mixoldian seventh chord would be D F# A C (As opposed to
a major seventh where the C would be sharp)
If this chord was played over a major scale then it would be a
modal chord.

I think - Dow knows more about this so I expect (and hope)
he’ll point out where I’m talking through my whatsit.

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

No, there’s no such thing as a mixolydian 7th. D F# A C is a dominant 7th. By far most of the chords built on modal scales used in Irish music are normal triads, 7th chords and bare 5ths and other miscellaneous chords like sus chords etc.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Most of the time when people say "modal chords" they mean "chords that sound neither major nor minor that I don’t know the name of (and don’t particularly want or need to know)", i.e. power chords, sus4, sus2, 7sus4, and others which are too geeky for most people to bother learning how to spell.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Yes, that was clumsy of me to call it a Mixolydian chord
When I say Mixolydian 7th I mean Dominant 7th,
Just as if just as if play the major 7th ( C#) then it would be
DMajor7

It was my way of saying, isnโ€™t this an example of a modal chord
proper when played over a major scale.

And this is definitely a geeky way of thinking about it so I
should stop right here !

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

BegF, it’s an interesting way to think about it. I’ve thought about the same thing before. Planxty spring to mind as having used D7 a lot as a root chord over D pipe drones in Dmix tunes as well as Ador. But then if you were to take that nomenclature further, what mode would you say Em7 was for, if it is to be a "modal" chord? Is it an aeolian chord or a dorian, or phrygian? It doesn’t really tell you an awful lot because you can use Em7 for other stuff - not just diatonic modes. It’s a bit like saying if 2+2=4 then 4=2+2, well, yeah it *is*, but… like, *so*?! ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

"It was my way of saying, isnโ€™t this an example of a modal chord
proper when played over a major scale."

Oh hang on, are you saying play a D7 over a normal Dmaj scale with a C#?

If so then I still don’t think it’s sensible to call it a modal chord, because remember, your normal Dmaj scale is also a mode. To imply that mixolydian is "modal" and the major scale somehow isn’t, is to be mistakenly discriminatory - that’s the blinkered dog-poo-on-the-lawn that classical theorists kindly left us.

A D7 chord over a Dmaj scale is going to be there for a reason. Maybe the C in the melody is unstable and is temporarily accidentalised. Maybe the tune wants to modulate into G. Dunno, but I wouldn’t call it a modal chord…

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Yeah because if you were to call D7 "modal", then Dmaj7 would also have to be "modal" because it fits over a Dmaj scale, which is the ionian mode. I think the word you need is "diatonic chords". That by its definition implies "chords that fit over diatonic modes".
Thinking out aloud here…

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

…"chords built on modal scales but were not used for the scale they were built off."

Hmm, I’ve reread this and see now that you mean like using a Dm7 chord over an A dorian tune (b/c the Fnat isn’t in the scale) and stuff like that. Creating different colours by "pushing" the tune and forcing accidentals into the harmony. I see what you mean now. I don’t think there’s a proper term for that, because it’s not modulation. I’ve always thought about it in terms of modal "shift" on different planes, where one (vertical???) plane is completely in the scale that you’re working with, e.g. Dmix = D, Em, (F#dim), G, Am, Bm, and the other (horizontal???) plane is where you "push" chords in from a different but most often related mode, like taking an A7 chord from a Dmaj scale, or maybe an Fmaj7 chord from a D dorian scale… like what you’re talking about. If you know that as "modal chords" then good on ya, because I dunno what anyone else calls it!

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

"Most of the time when people say "modal chords" they mean "chords that sound neither major nor minor that I don’t know the name of (and don’t particularly want or need to know)"

I think I said that up there โ–ฒ somewhere in rather fewer words. However I’ve enjoyed your dissertations on this deeply fascinating topic. Seeing as we’re taking things literally, can we assume that when you write "thinking out aloud here" that you are talking out loud to yourself as you write? I think I can picture it.

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

No, I’m not quite that sad ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

I’m only wordy because I have to go through a long process of firs of all misunderstanding what someone’s written and then writing pointless stuff in reply which has nothing to do with anything, before I can finally come up with something that makes sense.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

And also I’m not physically capable of writing one coherent properly-edited post. I can only gabble in multiple posts.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

C’mon, Dow, you *are* muttering out loud as you write aren’t you? What must the neighbours think?

Anyway, I don’t like these passive voice "Is the ******** considered ……?" questions. Who’s doing the considering?

I like a good bouzouki or guitar accompaniment though. I don’t *consider* either of them to be inappropriate when applied right. Either/or, not both/and.

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Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

I actually think the zouk is more accepted than the guitar.

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Accepted by you maybe, Zookman.
I myself think the guitar is more widely accepted.
So there! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: Is the bouzouki considered an ITM instrument?

Haha, fair enough. Bouzouki sounds cooler though.