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Thread: Rembetiko on the mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Rembetiko on the mandolin

    This is a medley inspired by four songs: O Katadikos by Yiovan Tsaous (Yiannis Eintziridis) from 1936. Skyla M’ekanes kai liono by Markos Vamvakaris from 1935. Paraponiariko Mou by Apostolos Hatzihristos from 1939. Efoumername Ena Vrady by Markos Vamvakaris from 1932. I play this in GDGd.
    (Some of those originals were definitely tuned in BbGd and AGd on the six string bouzouki)




    K’antone, Stavro, K’antone by Markos Vamvakaris from 1935. Tuned in GDAd.
    (Stelios Vamvakaris, his son, once said the original tuning was GGD)




    Osoi Ehoune Polla Lefta by Markos Vamvakaris from 1936. Tuned in ADAd.
    (Original tuning was either DAD or DGD)




    Continued below.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Rembetiko on the mandolin

    Continued...

    A poverty version of Misirlou, pieced together from at least five versions that I remembered. Sorry. This is an Anatolian folk song that was also played in rembetiko and later became surf rock, as popularized by Dick Dale. It's first recording was from the 1920s, but the song is muuuuuch older. Standard tuning GDAe.




    At last, an improvisation in ADGc. Which reminded me of the old six string bouzouki tunings AGd and GAd.

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  5. #3
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rembetiko on the mandolin

    Thanks for posting and I love mandolin played with all those Greek style ornaments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollonia93 View Post

    At last, an improvisation in ADGc. Which reminded me of the old six string bouzouki tunings AGd and GAd.
    And the top strings of my Arabic oud tuning, CFADGC.

    Do many bouzouki players use those old duzen or do most stick to DAD?

  6. #4

    Default Re: Rembetiko on the mandolin

    Eight string players only stick to CFAd. Six string players play DAd almost all of the time, even the hardcore rembetiko players. It's not nearly as common as a guitarist playing a song or two in an open tuning, for example. Sadly many of the alternate tunings got lost over the years and the surviving ones have no information written about them other than the odd moniker they received, so if people are even interested in them, they will have to do all the leg work themselves. Has been a pleasure for me so far, though. I'm still compiling a list.

    Thank you, David!
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  8. #5
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rembetiko on the mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollonia93 View Post
    Sadly many of the alternate tunings got lost over the years and the surviving ones have no information written about them other than the odd moniker they received, so if people are even interested in them, they will have to do all the leg work themselves. Has been a pleasure for me so far, though. I'm still compiling a list.

    Thank you, David!
    I appreciate your work in that area, as you say, there's little info on those early bouzouki tunings.

  9. #6

    Default Re: Rembetiko on the mandolin

    Thanks I hope to share a lot of it on the Mando Cafe. I know that we have many members here interested in related instruments and history!

    Speaking of rembetiko on the mandolin. There was a very educated musician called Spyros Peristeris, he was one of the most popular composers of the 1930s. He received a formal education and learned to play Greek, Turkish, Italian and classical music, also spoke Italian and German on top of Greek and Turkish. I have to mention him here. He is the only one coming to memory, in this moment, who recorded rembetiko on the mandolin. The mando was seen as just an Italian instrument (so a Western one) at the time and not commonly played at all. Only Cretans play the mandolin in their folk music, which is a reminder of the once Venetian rule of their island. I also heard that the mando used to be popular on Corfu until some decades ago. But that has nothing to do with rembetika. Here are some Peristeris mandolin recordings.

    O Beikos:




    Hasapiko Laterna, also called Hasapiko Politiko:




    Very faintly in the background here. To Servikaki:




    He was also a tremendous guitarist and made many solo guitar recordings. And he was a bouzouki player, too. A great older thread by Victor Kioulaphides about him here: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ros-Peristeris
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  11. #7
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rembetiko on the mandolin

    These are great! thanks for posting!
    --------------------------------
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
    1923 Gibson A-1 snakehead
    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

  12. #8

    Default Re: Rembetiko on the mandolin

    Corfu, just like Crete was also under venetian rule so the mandolin remains popular as our "folk" instrument.
    Regarding Douzenia bouzouki tunings :yes they are not as widely used but a lot of information does survive and more is resurfacing through research of old recordings as well as instruments.
    There is a very interesting recording of Keromitis where, during an interview he demostrates several bouzouki tunings. I don't think we can ever accurately list all of them as many were done around a specific voice range , as well as specific modes.In a way, you are more likely to understand the logic behind them if you study the turkish makam and the style of the baglama-saz type of instruments, rather than rembetiko recordings as those modal principals survive in a more organized and complete way in that school while rembetiko sources only give us a fragmented image through the few surviving pre-war recordings.

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  14. #9

    Default Re: Rembetiko on the mandolin

    Many thanks,
    I checked YouTube, but with this spelling ‘Keromitis’, I didn’t find anything. Is there a way to do a search using the Greek spelling?
    Oh, I just found this, is it Stelios?


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  16. #10

    Default Re: Rembetiko on the mandolin

    Sadly the interview was done for the greek radio in the mid 70s and i can't find it translated.
    https://youtu.be/_ntU8DwbUPM
    i found it in several parts , this is the first and he starts demonstrating the different tunings from around the 10th min.

    there are more examples here , sadly only in greek

    https://www.klika.gr/index.php/arthr...trixordou.html

    Basically,if i understand correctly, a non standard tuning would be done in the old times to match a certain voice or to emphasize dominant notes of a makam (mode). However, as freted greek instruments become well-tempered, in the early 1900s players gradually are expected to modulate more and generally have a more practical approach to playing.
    An instrument playing with movable frets would normally function as a human voice, having a specific register and keys it can do.You would change keys by retuning it. The tempered modern bouzouki nowdays transposes the way western instruments do so the Douzeni tunings gradually became out of fashion as musicians learned to play not only in their basic position with drones but in different keys
    I don't think they are "lost" because they were never really standarized. Its not that hard to figure out what key you want to play in and what dominant notes would sound good and use those as your open strings..thats what people used to do and mostly play tunes on the top string

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