Catégorie: Laouto

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Steriano laouto (mainland) and Nisiotiko lauto (islands)

From mainland Greece, it has a body about the size of an oud, bowl back, and a longer neck with tempered nylon frets. 8 steel strings in pairs of 2, 3 of which are octaves.

The tuning (from low to high) is C3C4, then down a fourht to G2G3, then up in fifths D3D4 and A4A4. It's re-entrant.

This is used in mainland greece, from Thraki, Epirus, Peloponnesus and other places. Also they use the same lauto in many islands except they refer to as Nisiotiko laouto.

Plays mainly chords, little melodic work, great rhythm instrument.

Kritiko laouto (Cretan laouto)

The laouto in Crete is essentialy the same as the mainland laouto, but much bigger and tuned exactly one fourth lower, G2G3 D2D3 A2A3 E4E4, llike mandolin but very very deep.

This instrument has a completely different playing style, accompanying the lyra.
There are usually 2 laouta (plural of laouto in greek) playing with the lyra, one playing solo and following hte lyra, and the other holding a simple chord and rapidly strumming up and down with a plastic plectrum creating a very percussive sound, called "vourtsa" which translates literally into "sweeping".

They use a similar style of laouto on small neighbouring islands, like Karpathos.

Politiko laouto or Lavta

Politiko laouto, also known as lavta, is a slightly modified oud. It has very similar construction and sound qualities to the oud, except a narrower body, longer neck with many microtonal frets like a tanbur, and only 7 nylon strings in 3 pairs and one single bass.

It is ttuned D2 A2A3 D3D4 A4A4 (low to high).

This also accompanied the politiki lyra in Istanbul, so the principle is not hugley unlike the cretan laouto, although now it is a strong solo instrument that plays tanbur and oud repertoire.

Laouto players tend to use long, thin light plastic picks held between thumb and index with the "tail" leaving the hand between the index and middle fingers. Lavta players often do the same but many use the same pick grip as the oud.


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