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The pandura is an ancient Greek string instrument from the Mediterranian basin.

It is derived from pandur, a Sumerian term for long-necked lutes. Source of our knowledge about this instrument is since the ancient Greek Mantineia marble (4th century BC), now exhibited at National Archaeological Museum of Athens, depicting the mythical contest between Apollo and Marsyas, where Greek Pandouris is being played by a muse seated on a rock. Lutes have been present in ancient Greece and Mesopotamia since the Akkadian era, or the third millennium BCE.

The ancient Greek pandoura (or pandora) (Greek: πανδούρα) was a medium or long-necked lute with a small resonating chamber. It commonly had three strings: such an instrument was also known as the trichordon (McKinnon 1984:10). Its descendants still survive as Greek tambouras and bouzouki, North African Kuitras and Balkan tamburicas. Renato Meucci (1996) suggests that the some Italian Renaissance descendants of Pandura type were called Chitarra Italiana, mandore or mandola. In the 18th century the pandurina (mandore) was often referred to as mandolino milanese.

Regional variations


A wide variety of similar instruments, often by the name tanbur, are found in areas ranging from Central Asia to Egypt.


In Afghanistan the pandura is called a dambura or dunbura, and is a popular folk instrument particularly among the......
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