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Folk Music of Greece
Traditional dhimotiká are accompanied by clarinets, guitars, tambourines and violins, and include dance music forms like syrtó, kalamatianó, tsámiko and hasaposérviko, as well as vocal music like kléftiko. Many of the earliest recordings were done by Arvanites (ethnic Albanian) like Yiorgia Mittaki and Yiorgios Papasidheris. Instrumentalists include clarinet virtuosos like Yiorgos Yevyelis, Vassilis Saleas and Yiannis Vassilopoulos, as well as oud and fiddle players like Nikos Saragoudas and Yiorgos Koros.

Thrace is known for its well-represented Turkish influence, owing from a wave of immigrants after 1923. Thracian music is often more traditionally Turkish than music found in Turkey.

In Epirus, Albanian and Macedonian influences are common, and folk songs are polyphonic and sung by both male and female singers. Distinctive songs include mirolóyia (mournful tunes) vocals with skáros accompaniment and tis távlas (drinking songs).

The Islands
The islands of Greece are known for nisiótika songs; characteristics vary widely, showing a range of mainland, Italian and Turkish influence. Modern stars include Effi Sarri and the Konitopoulous clan.

The Greek islands of Kárpathos, Khálki, Kássos and Crete form an arc where the lýra is the dominant instrument. It is a three-stringed fiddle similar to the Turkish kemençe. Kosta Moundakis is probably the most widely-respected master of the lýra, which is often accompanied by the oud-like laoúto, which resembles a mandolin. Bagpipes are often played on Kárpathos.

Ionian islands
The Ionian islands were never under Turkish control, and their kantádhes (traditional songs) are Italian in origin.

In the Aegean Cyclades, the violí is more popular than the lýra, and has produced several respected musicians, including Nikos Ikonomidhes, Nikos Hatzopoulos and Stathis Koukoularis.

Lesbos has a distinctive Turkish sound (and Greece's only brass bands), and acts as a melting pot for influences from all over Greece.

Contributed by Wikipedia
7 January 2004


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