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The Irish bouzouki has been gaining popularity in the celtic music. The Irish bouzouki has evolved from the Greek bouzouki, which was first introduced into celtic music in the 60's by Johnny Moynihan and Alec Finn.
The Irish bouzouki generally has an arched back and top where the Greek had a round lute like back and flat top. The bouzouki is a 4 course instrument with 8 strings. The pairs of strings are usually tuned to the same octave, like a mandolin, although some players prefer octave stringing, like the lower courses of a 12 string guitar.
There are several common tunings for the bouzouki, including G,DAd and A,DAd. Cord charts are available for these tunings and more on Han's Irish Bouzouki Homepage. There is also a chord chart generator on the Web that allows you to select any tuning you want.
This page © by Doug Dieter, Kennaquhair Stringed Instruments 2004.