Instruments (shops and makers)
The easiest way of finding out about an instrument is to ask someone who plays it. He will be of help in selecting a good instrument or in ordering one, as well as negotiating the price. There are very few renowned instrument-makers left. Most have passed away, taking the secrets of their art with them, for no-one had wanted to learn them. Some musicians and collectors actually go to neighbouring countries in search of high quality instruments.
The most popular and widely played instruments - clarinet, bouzoúki, lyra, laoúto - are available in the music stores of towns, but anyone seeking something out of the ordinary must find an instrument-maker and discuss his preferences and specifications with him - the wood used for each part, the decoration, shape etc. -or give him an old instrument to repair or copy. To find such instruments as the oúti, santoúri and kanonáki one must nowadays search long and hard.
Last but not least, there are instruments which are not made by specialist craftsmen in workshops, but by the players themselves. These include the daoúli, dacharé, gáida, floyéra, zournás and their local variants. As far as these are concerned, one must contact the player-maker in the village (if there is one still alive), order an instrument from him and (if possible) learn also how it is made.