typically used as a solo instrument, is not considered a member of the standard Arab
orchestra. It is found in both folk and urban contexts in the Levant and Syria, and is
associated with itinerant Gypsy musicians.
A long-necked fretted lute, the buzuq is usually
furnished with two courses of metal strings, a double (C4) and a triple
(G3), played with a thin piece of horn or a plastic plectrum.
The metal strings give the instrument a bright sound quality, while the fret distribution
(~24 movable frets) offers many microtonal possibilities.
In its folk form, the buzuq resembles the Turkish saz
and has a body carved from a single piece of wood. In its modern, urbanized form, the body
is constructed from separate ribs and has mechanical, rather than wooden pegs.
The buzuq used by Racy in the demonstration is furnished with two triple courses
and a single bass course (C3, G3, C4)
Video demonstration on the buzuq by Ali Jihad Racy