Musiqa min Al Dunia As-Sharqia ~ Music from the Eastern World
Original Microtonal Music Inspired by Traditional Arabic Maqamat and Iqaat and Other World Music Traditions
From Lark In The Morning, San Francisco, CA
The joura is a smaller-bodied relative of the Greek bouzouki. When ethnic Greeks fled home from the 1919-1922 war in Asia Minor, they brought with them the Turkish oud, long-necked saz and baglama. The Greeks combined these instruments with their native music (and probably the Italian mandolin) and produced the bouzouki, which originally had three courses of strings (six strings in three pairs). The boukouki was used in a type of urban blues called Rembetiko. After the Second World War, a fourth course was added. Today bouzoukis (and jouras) can be found with either three or four courses of strings.
Both the bouzouki and the joura have a long neck and bowl-shaped body. I went shopping for a bouzouki and came home with a joura because the body was smaller and easier to hold. Both (four-course) instruments are generally tuned CFAD (low to high).
I was first introduced to the bouzouki through the music of Cat Stevens in the '70s and had lusted after that exotic sound ever since!
2002 at the Martinez Marina with John Waller and David Jones
More information on Greek stringed instruments.
Recording: Marina's View (MP3, .5MB, 1:21)
Improvised joura and percussion.
Recorded as the soundtrack to a video project for a class at Diablo Valley College, starring our cat, Marina.