Lesson timetable: Mornings and afternoons (total of 45 hours)
The luthiery lesson consists of two parts: Theory and practicum (construction of a musical instrument)
A theoretical framework for Luthiery (Christos Spourdalakis)
Lesson timetable: 11:00 – 14:00 in the morning (total of 21 hours)
The tree as an organism [briefly]
Wood structure [Cellular - Macrocellular description]
Categorization of species - Description of their properties
Wood and moisture
The stringed musical instrument as a sound production mechanism
Understanding the operation of its parts
Determining the suitability of the materials for each part of the stringed instrument
[resonator accent, harmonic table (lid), arches, resonator]
Description of the mechanical - static balance of the stringed instruments
Sound predisposition of different species [practical reference with combination of wood species to approach the intended sound result]
Extensive reference to the process and the methods of construction of the bridge as well as to different ways of vibrating the top (Chladni Diagrams) and Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT)
Contributors to wood acoustics and practical examples [measure elasticity, shear factor, internal friction, ratio Poison, impedance (short)]
Description of different ways of organizing the lid
Basic design principles [brief description of older and newer designs]
Natural varnishes [their role and importance, impregnation, waterproofing, recipes]
Discussion on luthiery its methods and types
For those who have attended the theoretical seminar on Musical Instrument Manufacturing in the previous years, Christos Spourdalakis is offered -even outside the schedule of the regular seminar-
to discuss in detail the practical application of theories in the approach of the desired sound. For example the selection of the appropriate type of top, the position, the type and the shape of the arches, the shape of the resonator, its size, the choice of its materials, small or less small tips, as well as the detailed description of the different types of impregnation and can only be some of the topics of such free discussion. Basic knowledge of luthiery principles is demanded so as participants could engage in a better way the seminar process.
Construction of a musical instrument (Yiannis Katos)
Lesson timetable: 17:00 – 20:00 in the afternoon (total of 24 hours)
In this seminar we will try to get acquainted with the necessary equipment of a luthiery workshop, beginning with traditional techniques and simple tools, until today’s technological advancements.
We will deal with the methodology of design, construction and assembly of a three-stringed bouzouki, by applying processing techniques for wood and other materials and by referring to formwork construction, tools and helpful applications.
Finally, we will evaluate our technical choices, through the resulting sound and structural stability of the instrument that we will construct.
* This lesson will be taught primarily in Greek. Terminology will be explained in other languages as well, according to the teacher’s disposal. Interpretation will not be provided.
Yiannis Katos was born in 1979 in Athens, where he has lived and worked until present. At the age of 12, he started taking lessons of classical guitar and bouzouki. He graduated from Pallini Experimental Music School in 1996, and since then he has worked as a musician in rebetiko and folk scenes. At the same time, at the age of 18, he began his acquaintance with luthiery in Christos Spourdalaki’s workshop, focusing mainly on lute, acoustic and classical guitar.
He has attended lessons of Musicology and Philosophy in the University of Aberdeen, Scotland between 2000-2002, as well as luthiery seminars and he has participated in a number of international luthiery contests. Since 2005 he has been working with cad-cam design applications and with handling of cnc machine equipment in order to create advanced instrument formworks and develop original design methods.
Christos Spourdalakis was born in Piraeus. He became involved in luthiery just after finishing high school. During the same period he also worked as a musician which he continued to do for 13 years until he decided to devote himself exclusively the construction of stringed instruments. His work in our music workshop focuses on shaping the sound of each instrument, choosing the combination of materials and applying specialized methods of sound improvement that focus on the development of both traditional and modern experimental practices. He has published technical articles on the subject (written in Greek) and some videos with technical information about the stages of construction of musical instruments. In the last few years he occasionally shares his theoretical knowledge of instrument making in related seminars.