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Greek Baglamas
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Author:  TheWanderer [ Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Greek Baglamas

I took a gamble on one of these recently, and am really glad I did. It's a fun little instrument. For those who aren't familiar, a baglamas (NOT plural of baglama) is a miniature three course bouzouki type instrument. It's tuned similarly to the higher three courses on a mandolin. The lowest pitched string on it is D4 (D above middle C) and is coupled with another string at D5 (an octave higher). The middle course are two strings a fifth higher at A4, with the final course being two strings at D5. This pitches the instrument, right in whistle and flute tune territory.

It's a very small instrument that was actually stashed under the coats of the Rebetiko, who faced Governmental persecution if caught with full sized instruments, so it's a very portable thing, and being chromatic, you only need to carry one ;) If you attend sessions, you aren't going to be caught out with everyone else playing in the key of the whistle you haven't got, and are highly unlikely to find yourself competing with a dozen other baglama players :D There appears to be two types of them. Ones with staved bowl backs like lutes, and more traditional ones, like mine, which are carved (bowl and neck) from a single piece of wood.

I'm not a session player, but I do like the tone. For me a high D whistle is too shrill, but this playing the same pitched notes is more pleasing to my ear, it also tends to be less piercing in the higher frets, yet probably still cut through the noise or the room in the first 12 frets. You also don't need to skip notes to take a breath. When I got my whistles, I wasn't actually that enthused about being limited to trad music, and I'd been playing other stuff on them. Yet since I've had this, I've got more interested in traditional tunes. Funny how that's happened.

Might be worth checking out, if you like the idea of playing something different.

Author:  TheWanderer [ Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Greek Baglamas

Here's a vid I found on YouTube

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Greek Baglamas

It's so tiny.

Author:  benhall.1 [ Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Greek Baglamas

Sometimes I dream I've gone to work in my baglamas.

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