Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The Irish bouzouki

The bouzouki, believe it or not, has become a key instrument in Irish music, having been introduced to the tradition in the late 1960s by Johnny Moynihan. The Irish bouzouki – or zouk – has been adapted to suit Irish needs – for example, the Irish version is flat, not round-backed – but it is essentially the same instrument. Read more here:

The first clip posted above,
Monaghan jig, I liked a lot because the bouzouki player has managed to get that droning sound out of the bouzouki, which other Irish players often miss or don't want.

The second video below is the first part of an interesting BBC documentary on the history and current role of the bouzouki in Irish music. The other three parts of the documentary can be seen on youtube. The musicians shown are exceptional and they love their bouzoukis as much as any Greek.


Margaret said...

I had no idea that there was such a tradition of Irish bouzouki music. We saw Julie Fowlis play in the summer, with her gaelic band which includes her husband, and bouzouki player, Eamon Doorley [http://www.juliefowlis.com/eamon/] but I thought he was a one off, an oddity, not part of something bigger. The music was beautiful.


john akritas said...

Thanks for the links, Margaret. I'm no expert on Irish traditional music, but it seems to be thriving and attracting innovative and talented musicians. Others could learn from them.