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Thread: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

  1. #1
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    I have noticed little if any response to Irish Bouzoukis posts. I believe now that the Irish Bouzouki Facebook Page has drawn away members from here. There are now 4300 members on that forum. One can advertise your instrument for sale on that forum and easily post photos. Hence the lack of interest in here in this section of the cafe. What do you think?
    Nic Gellie

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    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    No response so far. I think this confirms my idea that they have gone. Octave mandolins and mandocellos have taken over which is fine.
    Nic Gellie

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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    This caught my eye. I just got interested in Irish bouzouki and will now check out the FB page!

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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    I would play bouzouki if I had one! And I would post about it here too
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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Gellie View Post
    No response so far. I think this confirms my idea that they have gone. Octave mandolins and mandocellos have taken over which is fine.
    You didn't ask about Greek bouzouki players...like me.

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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    I would play bouzouki if I had one! And I would post about it here too
    Ha, ha, Gunnar, I’d post mandolin vids if I had one!
    -in fact if I’d bought a Greek bouzouki instead of an octave I’d be posting Greek music vids. Nice!
    But FaceBook? I don’t think so, Seor!

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  10. #7

    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    I confess that the only mandolin-ish instruments I might play these days are the big ones. And no FB for me either, so here I remain...

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    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    You didn't ask about Greek bouzouki players...like me.
    No I didn't and didn't mean to exclude you either. Surely there must be more people here playing both types of bouzoukis.
    Nic Gellie

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    There is more 'zouk discussion on thesession.org, possibly due to the exclusive focus on Irish music compared to Mandolin Cafe, where many other styles of music are discussed as well as Irish trad.

    A search on bouzouki in the Discussion section shows this as the first of 45 pages, with discussions as recently as last week:

    https://thesession.org/discussions/s...orderby=newest

    There are many of us who don't use FaceBook for one reason or another (like me), so I'm glad there are alternatives like the Cafe here, or thesession.org. The world doesn't just revolve around FB posts.

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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    That’s interesting because when I play the octave I deliberately try not to play it ‘full’ using a lot of doublestops, but more like a mandolin that has a guitar for accompaniment. I guess I like the bias towards learning specific tunes as melodies, but I have noticed the dearth of bouzouki vid posts on the site here and wondered about it.

    Just this week I‘ve been thinking about open tunings and trying to add rhythm by strumming on the first and fifth eighths in 4/4 and maybe even try other odd rhythms too. But it’s not easy to think melody and harmony and sustain at the same time.

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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    It's a paradigm, but purely anecdotal. If someone sees three instruments from one builder for sale in a couple of days and posts a question here asking what is the true problem with the brand and "why is everyone dumping them," does that observation make it true?

    Facebook participation isn't terribly different than any Forum, and both not so different from the Listservs of the 1990s, and whatever it is in the future probably won't likely be different either. The number might look impressive--wow, the Mandolin Cafe has almost 59,000 members! Wow, the Zouk/Cittern group has 4,300 members! Now subtract those that signed up and never participated, never bothered to leave and walked away, the bots not associated with an account that just need to look like a human (Facebook), the spam accounts, the people that passed away, became physically unable, or simply lost interest and walked away from social media, or those that are at both locations. 246 posts in a month for 4,300 members suggests not a lot going on.

    I'm interested in statistics so looked at the Forum. If it's thought there are no posts around this subject matter, anyone can do that research. Go to the Advanced Search and plug in 'cittern' and separately 'bouzouki' or 'zouk' and do searches around these topics to see how many threads are containing those references, and limit it to the past 30 days. They're all over the place in many sub-forums, appearing in many different discussion areas. If you only evaluate the one area thought where they should be, you might find what matches a paradigm. Don't forget the CBOM area of the Classifieds in the mix. A more complicated answer is, it's more difficult to evaluate because people with those interests might be in many areas, and I'm not even including the social groups themselves (ours) that dabble heavily in Irish, Scottish, etc.

    Don't mistake this for a site owner trying to defend a site's technology and presence. I'm not doing any hand wringing, and no one else should either. I use social media plenty, and I've belonged to quite a few groups, but quite frankly most of them leave me feeling it's the same ol, same ol that was on CoMando, the Cafe, Facebook, and a growing list of other outlets. Another take: there were a few years where I thought social media would kill this site. I stopped thinking that would ever occur several years ago. During that time the numbers decreased a bit but then bounced back some, but the income stream required and reached to run this operation never budged. I will give Facebook one thing though: if you like to be fed only what you like to hear and want to see, it's definitely the place. Their algorithms will see to it, whether you're aware of not.

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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Nick I don't disagree mandocello and octave seem to be the fashion these days, I myself went down the cittern path for a spell but really wanted to focus more on the classic mandolin family with 4 courses tuned in 5ths. This was back in the 90s, cittern and zouk certainly had their hey day in the 70s-90s.
    I also tend to associate cittern for singing accompaniment, not being much of a singer I tend not to focus on that style.
    But I wouldn't say its anywhere near dead, I have to remind myself it was the "unpopularity" of the alto and tenor mando family instruments that drew me to them, cittern and zouk being somewhat obscure to even main stream folk and traditional, I would not be surprised to see a healthy all though somewhat hidden population of enthusiasts.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
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  20. #13
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Although I've stopped Facebook - the Irish Bouzouki Forum on there is one of the best & friendliest groups - and known players participate (even the greats... I can think of Andy Irvine, Jim Fagan, Daiori o'Farrell etc having posted a fair bit - and up & coming eg Jon Doran).
    Afraid that's just how it is - but now I've stopped facebook I check in here & maybe post now & then too.

    But I always came HERE for the tenor guitar forum - the one on facebook isn't so good.

    Have people come FROM here to THERE?
    I doubt it. Facebook is just there for a lot of people so it's no leap that they join what's in front of them.
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    aka aldimandola Michael Wolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Hm, this might be a valid reason to subscribe to Facebook, as Im still not there. But Id also like to see more bouzouki content here, as Ive just came back to bouzouki-playing the last two weeks or so, after not playing it the last couple of years. I concentrated on tenor banjo/guitar and mandolin. But in corona times, without sessions, I met regularly with a piper and he asked me to play bouzouki with his pipes and this was indeed fun. Then one day my flatmate brought in her santur (shes from Therean) and we startet to play some jigs, andros and persian tunes with tin whistle/pipes, santur and bouzouki. These fit well together and everybody wanted to continue in this formation. So this seems to be my new bouzouki project.

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Badgers View Post
    Facebook is just there for a lot of people so it's no leap that they join what's in front of them.
    True enough, and also it's practically mandatory for performing musicians to have a FB presence for promotion these days. Not too surprising then, if a few famous artists show up in the various instrument forums.

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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Wolf View Post
    ...tunes with tin whistle/pipes, santur and bouzouki.
    I like those olde sounds.
    ...

    I confess I mooch off my wife's FB account to access the wire harp group - only place I can find to talk wire harps.. There are some yahoo(?) pages that host groups for more exotic instrumentalia/music I'm interested in, but I find the formats inconvenient, consequently I rarely go there.

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    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    Not too surprising then, if a few famous artists show up in the various instrument forums.
    Certainly three of those I mentioned have been advertising their skype lessons and offering advice to newbies. I approached Jim Fagan about lessons myself though I haven't gotten around to it.
    I can't be down on that forum - if I went back on FB I'd certainly go onto it.
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, 59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: 57 Gibson ETG-150, 80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

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    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    It is good to see that this thread has sparked some interest in Bouzoukis. I like Scott's comments that Facebook is nothing more than an embellished listserve.

    There have been some very interesting threads and posts put on here before. I miss them a lot now.

    If there are ways to make the CBOM section more alive then put in some entertaining suggestions.
    Nic Gellie

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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    This thread over a year ago sparked my interest and I first learnt of a number of Irish instrument makers through it.
    Slightly frustratingly, we never did find out what Susanne did in the end.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ouzouki+makers
    David A. Gordon

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    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    So David what would pique your interest in Irish Bouzoukis? Instruments, good video instructions on how to play them,. Other musically genres on Greek or Irish bouzouki?

    I really enjoyed Andy Tobin's Irish bouzouki build diary for instance. I have found some really good videos lately including this one:



    You will find lots of tunes, lively discussion, different ways to play the bouzouki by capping up the neck and it's a lot of fun.
    Nic Gellie

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    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    According to the builder database there are a documented 130 builders of bouzoukis, 47 citterns.

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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Gellie View Post
    So David what would pique your interest in Irish Bouzoukis? Instruments, good video instructions on how to play them,. Other musically genres on Greek or Irish bouzouki?
    I worked at Lark in the Morning (the original one) for over 15 years, and have taught at Lark Camp since 1991. I've played a lot of Irish bouzoukis, 4 and 5 course, long and short scale, and heard many fine players of the instrument. I also liked the work of folks like Donal Lunny and other musicians. We imported instruments from Sobell, Fylde, and several other makers, and I got to test many of them as part of the QC process.

    I've been playing Greek bouzouki ( both 3 and 4 course) since the late 70's. I also play the mandocello-tuned "Istanbul lute", the lavta.

    I think it's that I'm less interested in the typical music styles played on Irish bouzoukis and more interested in Greek and other Mediterranean styles of music. Most of my playing experience in any British Isles music is English Country Dance, playing mandolin, cello, recorder and wooden flute. Even in American music, I am not attracted to "fiddle tunes" and such, as I prefer the music of my village, jazz, being a New Orleans native.

    I enjoy hearing good ITM players, but I've never spent much time or effort learning the music, preferring to learn Italian, Klezmer, classical, jazz, and other genres.

    These days, I am getting a kick out of seeing the 3 course Greek bouzouki (trichordo) show up again in ITM bands.

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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    I'm generally interested in seeing nice instruments and good builders, but like DavidKOS I also have an interest in Mediterranean music, especially from Crete, and in seeing people doing something a bit different. I am a huge fan of a Spanish musician called Efren Lopez who often is in Crete, and indeed I studied with him there for a week last year. That guy has some instrument collection!

    https://www.facebook.com/Efren.Lopez.1972

    What I enjoyed about the Irish bouzouki makers thread (https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ouzouki+makers ) was hearing about people I hadn't heard of.
    Actually, I am often at least as interested in their ways of life as the instruments themselves. I think there is something pretty cool about building instruments in the West of Ireland, for example.
    David A. Gordon

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  35. #24

    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Me as well. I'm not that into "fiddle tunes" - I like to play forms that have more thematic development and so forth - prbly from playing classical/flamenco half of my life.. I took to playing oud, which is about the only plectrum playing I do these days. I like the sound of cboms, but I don't much play the kind of music (for ITM i play harp, free reeds, bit of flute..) I haven't even played standard fiddle for a year - preferring as I do lyre-fiddle.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post

    ... I prefer the music of my village, jazz, being a New Orleans native.
    I'm a long way from NOLA, but I feel as connected to the music as any - jelly roll's "spanish tinge," professor longhair, fats domino, et al .. I've found the accordion does it best

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  37. #25
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where have all the Irish bouzouki / cittern players gone to?

    Thanks to Dagger and Catmandu for your musical preferences and background. I play my Irish Bouzoukis in a range of musical genres ever since started playing them in the early 1980s.

    I use them as well as mandolins in Balkan Celtic Spanish French and French Canadian music.
    Nic Gellie

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