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Photo and sound sample courtesy of Nikos Tsantanis

Click here to listen to a sample of Tsampouna being played live at a Greek feast.


The Tsabouna (sometimes spelled Tsampouna or Tsambouna) is a Greek wind instrument over 2000 years old, made of goatskin. It is inflated from one end, and while the musician blows from the mouthpiece, he plays the flute located at the other end of the instrument. While resembling a bagpipe with a single reed, it cannot be classified among either bagpipes with a fixed drone nor those which are solely melodic.

Given its restrictive characteristics, the Tsampouna is a difficult instrument to master, requiring considerable skill to make it musically interesting, as only 6 notes can be played. Today, it is still played on the many islands of Greece, and always elicits singing and dancing.

A beautiful instrument to hear, it excites the listener and introduces a sense of enthusiasm and livelihood, found in Greek festivals and feasts.



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