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Last Updated: 6/1/2022
Site Author/Photos: John Pappas
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Items For Sale

Samouelian Storefront

Samouelian Musical Instruments Storefront: Monastiraki, Athens, 2006.

I'm now offering hand-made floyeres, or shepherd's flutes, for sale. I've also got a couple of items left over from my instrument collection clearance. As always, shipping costs apply to all items available for purchase on this page. Email me to order, or with questions, at

Greek Flutes: Floyera & Tzamara

The floyera is the Greek shepherd's flute. It is not a "whistle" type flute where the musician puts the flute into his mouth and blows like blowing a whistle. Instead, the musican blows across the open end or rim of the upper part of the floyera.

In most areas of mainland Greece including Roumeli and Peloponnisos, the instrument is called the floyera. It can vary in length, but commonly the floyera is about twelve (12) inches long, more or less. In northern Greece they also have longer floyeres. In Epiros, northwestern Greece, these longer flutes are called tzamara. In Greek Thrace, northeastern Greece, they are sometimes called gavali (similar to the Bulgarian kaval). These longer flutes are usually around thirty (30) inches or so in length. The longer tzamara or gavali flutes have a different fingering and allow for playing half tones more easily than on the shorter floyera. Shepherds often play these various types of Greek flutes, as they are fairly easily made by the musician himself. They can be made from bamboo, or from a straight branch from a tree which has a pithy center that can be poked out easily. Sometimes, the shepherds would make the floyera from the bone of a large bird's wing (like the eagle's wing bone). These floyeres were said to have magical properties.

The finger holes, usually six (6) on the top and one (on the bottom), but sometimes seven (7) on the top, could be burned into the bamboo or wood or bone body of the floyera. A piece of wire or metal the proper diameter would be heated to red hot in a fire and then the finger hole would be burned through. Sometimes, pieces of metal pipe would be used, and the shepherd would have a metal worker drill the finger holes to his satisfaction. I have even made floyeres myself from pvc or plastic pipe, and they play quite well.

These Greek folk flutes are made in the old way, and thus they are not tuned to the western tempered scale. Each one is a little different, and they are exactly like the ones you might find made in the villages or small towns in Greece. I have many made for me by relatives and friends, and they are all a little different. These are folk instruments, hand made, and thus are very authentic. The ones I sell may vary somewhat from the ones in the photos. For example I usually put single black lines on the Tzamares now, instead of double lines (so they look more like the Floyera in the photos).

Floyeras and Tzamaras

I make FLOYERES from three types of materials, plastic pipe, brass tubing (I can make them from copper tubing as well), or bamboo:

White Floyera

Brass Floyera

Bamboo Floyera

Bamboo Floyera

- The price for a FLOYERA is $75. -

I make TZAMARES from two types of materials also, plastic pipe or brass tubing:

White Tzamara

Brass Tzamara

- The price for a TZAMARA is $100.

- Shipping in the US is approximately $15 for one tzamara and $10 for one floyera. -

Email me to order, or with questions, at

Other Nationality Flutes

This page was last updated on 3/23/2019.

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