Video demonstration by Jihad Racy
The buzuq, typically used as a solo instrument, is not considered a member of the standard Arab orchestra. It is found in both folk and urban contexts in the Levant and Syria, and is associated with itinerant Gypsy musicians.
A long-necked fretted lute, the buzuq is usually furnished with two courses of metal strings, a double (C4) and a triple (G3), played with athin piece of horn or a plastic plectrum. The metal strings give the instrument a bright sound quality, while the fret distribution (~24 movable frets) offers many microtonal possibilities.
In its folk form, the buzuq resembles the Turkish saz and has a body carved from a single piece of wood. In its modern, urbanized form, the body is constructed from separate ribs and has mechanical, rather than wooden pegs.
The buzuq used by Racy in the demonstration is furnished with two triple courses and a single bass course (C3, G3, C4).