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Thread: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by ollaimh View Post
    as i remember the interview richardson said the player was playing scottish songs and jigs and reels on a preston like english guitar. he seemed to think this had been common a century ago, bot almost died out.
    I did a bit of Googling while awaiting the daylight in the North of Scotland and came up with a chap called Robert Mouland, who plays period instruments.

    You can hear him playing the English guittar (from the 18th century apparently) here.

    http://www.wireharp.com/instruments.htm
    David A. Gordon

  2. #27
    Registered User Colin Lindsay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    Wow, fascinating video of the Corries.

    I'm intrigued by the date - 1968. While we often hear that Moynihan introduced the bouzouki to Irish music, I wonder if that had an influence on Roy Williamson of the Corries or was there a quite separate and possibly overlooked use of the instrument in Scotland at the time? Sweeney's Men made their album with Moynihan in 1968 - the same year as that Corries video.

    Not only that, Roy Williamson invented and made these combolin instruments. Again from Wikipedia:
    'The Combolin was invented by Roy Williamson of The Corries in the summer of 1969. The combolin combined several instruments into a single instrument. One combined a mandolin and a guitar (along with four bass strings operated with slides), the other combined guitar and the Spanish bandurria, the latter being an instrument Williamson had played since the early days of the Corrie Folk Trio.'
    You mean... Johnny Moynihan DIDN'T invent those as well???
    As I keep having to say: those instruments were everywhere, but it was Moynihan who brought his to the fore through easily available recordings and the popularity of his groups (he's a terrific performer to see in the flesh, and an amazing musician) and thereby gets the credit. It's a bit like saying that James Last invented the orchestra, when we actually mean that he took what was there, honed and fine tuned it and brought it to fame.
    "Danger! Do Not Touch!" must be one of the scariest things to read in Braille....

  3. #28
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    "As I keep having to say: those instruments were everywhere, but it was Moynihan who brought his to the fore through easily available recordings and the popularity of his groups"

    Yes, I take your point and there is no doubt that the whole Sweeney's/ Planxty / Bothy thing is the main influence in getting many of us started.

    But the Corries were REALLY popular, absolutely household names in Scotland. I think they did more than anyone else (with the possible exception of Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGregor) to popularise Scottish folk music generally and probably got heaps of people started on mandolin, whistle, bodhran and certainly guitar. The sight of Roy on bouzouki in a 1968 was a bit surprising to me though. I wonder when he picked it up. I should think he might have known Moynihan and seen his bouzouki, but perhaps not.
    David A. Gordon

  4. #29

    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    of course there may have been greeks in the celtic isles before sweeny's men or the corries. there was a greek bouzouki player in vancouver british columbia in the folk rock band flying mountain, early as 1970.(again can;t remember when exactly fer sure) and i think the new foundland player kelly russell had a greek bouzouki around the same time. prehaps moynihan didn't invent everything.Click image for larger version. 

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    here's a picture of the kind of english guitar that dave richardson said was still played in scotland in his early folk days. it was in an interview but i can't remember where. i do remember the interview quoted above and he's right. it was short not sobel he went to for his first.

    this is a preston i bought from ebay and got up and running since. just for fun, but not a regular player.

    when did flynn start with his trichordia in de dannaan?

  5. #30
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    I just bought an APC PRB305 bouzouki based on my listening to music videos and my general research. I need another bouzouki in our band in Spain and decided that I was not going for another custom instrument. It is just too expensive. Maybe I am behaving and acting like a Spaniard when it comes to buying instruments.

    I apologise for not getting back to members regarding my visit to FolkReps in 2014. I ran out of time at my conference and could not find the Folk Reps music shop after the conference. I may go there next year if go back to the same fire conference, Coronavirus permitting.
    Nic Gellie

  6. #31
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    And this time I will do a review.
    Nic Gellie

  7. #32
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by ollaimh View Post
    the early planxty people, had a few portuguese guitars. andy irvine can be seen on you tube playing one. and there are several pictures. this was around the same time as the greek bouzouki arrived in that scene. but people probably had them earlier but weren't as famous. and there were citterns played on scotland. the last scottish traditional player was still playing into the early sixties, just in time for the beginning of the revival.

    but some portuguese instruments are the best quality. some are for tourists.

    antonio caravahlo makes among the best stuff. the plain ones are just as well made and sound just as good.he makes some for apc, and acoustamelo, which may be the same.

    the manual caravhalo can be cheaply made--but very cheap priced

    when i was in portugual a few years ago i almost bought a mandola by antonio. it was great sounding and about $600, with exchange. nice instrument. so i'd buy one if you're looking for a reasonably priced bouzouki, and i like the deeper tone of the big portuguese bodies guitarras so i'd go for the portuguese model.
    I would agree with that statement. The Irish bouzouki model sounds a bit thin to me.
    Nic Gellie

  8. #33
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    Here is I think an earlier version of the PTB305 Irish Bouzouki. It is an APC755 model made in 2012.

    You can hear Niilo Sirola play an hour of Irish Bouzouki music. There is a second version of you follow the prompts.



    Here is link on the Antonio Carvalho website to show what the PTB305 looks like:

    https://apc-instruments.com/index.ph...product_id=334

    They look identical. Both are made with Sapele back and sides.
    Nic Gellie

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  10. #34
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    Are there any Irish Bouzouki players still out there on the forum or have we all gone to the Irish Bouzouki Facebook page?

    We used to have great discussions here once upon a time.
    Nic Gellie

  11. #35
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Gellie View Post
    Are there any Irish Bouzouki players still out there on the forum or have we all gone to the Irish Bouzouki Facebook page?

    We used to have great discussions here once upon a time.
    Well I'm Scottish and play the octave mandolin .....
    David A. Gordon

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  13. #36
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    Hi Dagger,

    At least there is be other person here who plays Irish bouzouki / Scottish octave mandolin. Maybe Sobell's instruments should be called Scottish bouzoukis because they were taken up by the Scots with fervour in the 1970s and 1980s.

    An interesting aspect of this is that the Sobell instruments derived from a Portuguese Guitar in part and Antonio Carvalho calls his wide bodied instrument a Portuguese bouzouki based on the same body shape as the Fado guitar. APC PRB model bouzoukis may not be in the same league as Sobell's. They still sound and play well enough for a beginner/intermediate player. They don't have the mystique of a Sobell which fetches lucrative prices given he does not make many of them. They are an art form in away.

    Such is the nature of musical instruments these days. I have gone back to playing mandolins and bouzoukis that are cheap and well-made by comparison with the top end. That is why I have ended up Eastman and Breedlove mandolins and APC bouzoukis. I don't have so much invested in each instrument and get satisfaction from playing them. I am working them harder to get the tone I want out of them sometimes better than higher end instruments I have had in the past.
    Nic Gellie

  14. #37

    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    Well I'm Scottish and play the octave mandolin .....
    Well at least youre polite. Not like that other Scottish fellow who uses the BX word.

    (Im English and play the octave mandolin)

    And this guys American, and the guitar is English.

  15. #38
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    It a bit of an anachronism yet still in the type of cittern, mandola, or octave mandolin. He seems polite to me for the most part.
    Nic Gellie

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  17. #39
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Irish/Portuguese Bouzouki

    Back to the OP. I can confirm the following specs for the 305 and 308 bouzoukis.

    Tuning – gG DD AA DD can be set up as GG DD AA DD
    Nut width – 37 mm
    Width of Fingerboard at Neck Join: 49 mm
    Body Width - 380 mm
    Body Length - 390 mm

    The only differences between the 305 and B308 models are the latter has laminated Ovangkol sides and back whereas the former has laminated Sapeli sides and back. The B308 has more ornate purfling and bound fingerboard too.

    The 305 has more of a nasal IB tone whereas the 308 has a smoother slightly more resonant sound. That is to my ears on listening to YouTube recordings.
    Nic Gellie

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