The rich and wonderful ‘orchestra’ of Greek traditional instruments

Lyre, lute, violin, clarinet, drums, bagpipes and some more exotic musical instruments, like sandouri, askomandoura, tsambouna, form the ‘orchestra’ of the nisiotika songs, the songs of the Greek islands.  Among them the santouri probably evolved from harp-like instruments such as the lyre of the ancient Greeks.

The drums, have many different forms and names in Greek traditional music depending on the area of the country, like ‘daouli’,  the two headed drum, or toumbano, toumbi and many others. Equally diverse are the names and shapes for the Greek bagpipe, or gaida.

For instance the ‘tsabouna’ is a type of bagpipe that is very popular in many of the islands. It has double pipes that are fingered in the same time, which means that the musician plays two pipes in the same time. The interesting thing is that the two pipes are often somewhat out of tune with each other, creating a very peculiar sound.