CHAPTER 5: Dulcimers in other countries since 1800 > Eastern Europe

Greece - 1 of 4: A general overview, 1976

[2004: I found only a few references to Greek santouris in 1976: now we can enjoy pictures, sounds and descriptions from Dimitris Kofterós' work here]

Greece has been left to the last of the East European countries because it presents a fascinating meeting-point between Europe and Asia; the santouris seen in this study have look almost identical to Romanian tambals mic, and the Hungarian cimbalom of Derek Bell (fig. 214), but the solo playing of Konsolos Ermollos - who, incidentally, was seen performing in Steiermark a few weeks ago [July, 1976] by Josef Strunz - has been been related to the maqams of Near-Eastern music, and certainly sounds more Asian than European. However, where he accompanies other musicians, his role is much more comparable with that of, say, the Ukrainian cimbaly players.

[2004: Dimitiris Kofterós identifies the solo-melodic style with the Aegean islands, the accompanying style with the mainland: he also refers to influence from Romania; more here.]

fig. 225: click

Note that Danielou's statement, that "he plays the Persian santur" is misleading: the 'Persianness' here links with the name and the musical style, while the physical structure of the Greek instruments is different from the Persian style (58).

fig. 220: click

According to Anoyakis, the name tsímbalo is used in Greece for 'a sandouri of large dimensions armed with a pedal', although no examples of such instruments were discovered in this study.

Dr. John Teall has a number of recordings of santouri players, and a santouri, from his visits there, and David Lochner understood there to be about 20 players in Athens in 1975.

[2001: Nick Foggo, Greece-connoisseur and dulcimer-player, writes: "There really aren't many old santouri players around now, and very few younger ones."]

fig. 226: click

Hubert Boone made me aware in the most practical way possible that there was a santouri hanging of the wall of the Brussels restaurant which bears its name.

Karakasi (1970) has a short section on santouri, although apparently in Greek; also illustration in Grove 6, 'Greece'.