- R. Conway Morris
Lute of Greece. It is the chief accompanying instrument for traditional ensembles. Sizes vary, with string lengths from about 68 to 75 cm. The pear-shaped bowl resonator is carvel-built, and the soundtable has a single soundhole sometimes filled with a rosette and a wide pick guard. The neck has 11 movable gut or nylon frets, and as many as eight or more wooden frets glued to the soundtable. The four double courses of metal (formerly gut) strings are affixed to the bridge and tuned in fifths with three bichords in octaves (Cc-G g–d d′–a′a′). Although the laouto is traditionally played with a goose quill, plastic plectra are also used. The prime role of the laouto is to provide a rhythmic and chordal accompaniment, except in Crete, where a larger variety tuned a fourth lower is used to play a simplified version of the melody in heterophony with the ...