Originally best known in Greek music, the bouzouki was adopted- and adapted to Irish and Folk music by Irish musicians in about 1970, being used more or less as a “big mandolin” and becoming part of the defining sound of Celtic music.

Usually tuned GDAE or GDAD, a short scale bouzouki is often used for playing single note melody, while a longer string length is often chosen for playing chords and rhythmic backing.

The thicker strings can be “Unison”- where the two strings of each pair are the same note, or “Octave” where the two strings of a pair are tuned an octave apart.

The “bouzouki” can also be called an “Octave mandolin”, and as such does not have a direct equivalent in the orchestral world of violins etc.