Ballos from Smyrna
A tune from Smyrna (Asia Minor) based on the rhythm of a gay, lilting, couple dance in 2/4 meter, the well known ballos, which is particularly popular in the islands, it begins with a slow introduction for kanun (kanonaki) solo.
The kanonaki is a direct descendant of the Byzantine psaltery (psalterion) and the distant forerunner of the western spinets and harpsichords. It consists of a flat box in the shape of a trapezoid strung with enough strings to produce three octaves plus three notes.
It is also capable of playing a great variety of microtones· its tuning can be adapted to a rich variety of oriental modes and can follow modal changes within the same piece, its strings are made of cat-gut or nylon and are plucked with plectrums attached to the index fingers of the performer. Markos Ph. Dragoumis (1974)
Studio recording, 1974.