Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 321.312.6
Country: Greece & Turkey.
Region: Mediterranean & Asia Minor.
Description: The tambouras [in Greek: ταμπουράς in IPA: tabuˈras] is a Greek traditional string instrument of Byzantine origin. It has existed since at least the 10th century, when it was known in Assyria and Egypt. At that time, it might have between two and six strings. The neighbouring Turkish and Arabs have adapted the instrument called it tambur. The characteristic long neck and two strings, tuned a fifth apart.
It has been considered that the tambouras’ ancestor is the ancient Greek pandouris, also known as pandoura, pandouros or pandourida [πανδουρίς, πανδούρα, πάνδουρος] from which the word is derived. The tambouras is mentioned in the Byzantine epic of Digenis Akritas, when the hero plays his θαμπούριν, thambourin [medieval form of tambouras]: It also similar instrument Tambur in Turkish and each of them have same origin.
“ Και αφότου αποδείπνησεν, εμπαίνει εις το κουβούκλιν
και επήρεν το θαμπούριν του και αποκατάστησέν το “.
” When he had finished his meal, he entered his chamber
and picked up his tamboura [thambourin] and tuned it”.
— Digenis Akritis, Escorial version, vv. 826-827, ed. and transl. Elizabeth Jeffreys.
Citations: Bibliography: Eleni Kallimopoulou 2009 Paradosiaká: Music, Meaning and Identity in Modern Greece, SOAS musicology series, Ashgate Publishing, pp. 50 & 53, ISBN 978-0-7546-6630-1 ; Traditional Stringed Instruments of Greece” ; The Stringed Instrument Database ; Λεξικό της κοινής νεοελληνικής, ed. Institute of Manolis Triantafyllidis, 1998 ; “ταμπουράς” tamboura” at Oxforddictionaries.com – John Shepherd 2003, Performance and Production, Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World: Volume II: Performance and Production, 11, Continuum, p. 68, ISBN 978-0-8264-6322-7 ; Anogeianakis, Foivos. Ellinika Laika Mousika Organa. Athens: Melissa, 1991 [2nd Edition] ; Jeffreys, Elizabeth. Digenis Akritis ; The Grottaferrata and Escorial Versions. Cambridge University Press, 1998 ; Grapsas, Nikos, Tambouras. Methodos Didaskalias. Athens: Nikolaidis, 2007 ;