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Gift of Charles S. Sisk, Pierre, South Dakota, 1989.
This bouzouki is a rare example of Anastasios Stathopoulo's own early American production, a folk instrument from the maker's native Greece. The instrument is related to the modern Turkish bozuk, with a bowl-shaped body, long neck, and frets. Its repertoire included both improvised solos and songs. At the time this instrument was made, the bouzouki's reputation had suffered from an association with criminal activities, hashish smokers, and rebetika songs celebrating rough and ready street life. In the 1930s, the instrument attained a wider popularity through commercial recordings and gained a nationalistic flavor that overshadowed, to a certain extent, its past in the shadier elements of Greek society. NMM 4613 is a finely decorated instrument, with a gilded rose and a nineteen-stave bowl. Although it was once widely thought that the modern, 4-course, double-stringed bouzouki came about in the 1950s and 60s, current research has discovered that Stathopoulo and other vintage makers of the same time made 8-string bouzoukis much earlier than originally thought. The modern day tuning is CFAD; six-stringed instruments were tuned DAD. The older, 8-stringed bouzoukis, such as this one, used a different tuning than is used today. The Stathopoulo family would later found Epiphone.