Mediterranean and Balkan musical contest 2

Mar 2018
Western Greek folk music

When i say western i don't mean geographically, but musicologically, as some of these songs and genres can be geographically as eastern as Rhodes

For a big (or better say half or even slightly for the most) part, Greece has followed (usually was forced to follow) a different way from that of Balkan countries, which usually resulted further western influences in Greek civilization compare to that of Balkans, especially South Balkans:
The dominance of Greeks over slavs who invaded the country, the medieval Frankish and venetian dominance in Greece which for the most part lasted 2,5-4 centuries during medieval times and in late 17th-early 18th century in Southern mainland, the existence of Greek regions that were never occupied by Ottomans (ionian islands and Mani) and the earlier liberation from the ottomans and lack of communistic past, along with the long Mediterranean coasts have affected Greek society, mentality and arts (like architecture etc) in a more "southwestern" way, and music is not exception. All these things are not visible in northern regions, which technically have very little historical differences from Balkan countries, but as you go down south and to a higher extent as you pass in the islands it becomes more and more visible.

Music was not an exception to this rule, as early western influenced songs can be spotted in southern mainland:

Southeast Aegean islands:

of course these are some samples, there are much more examples that can be posted

The "western influence" peaked in Ionian islands, which were under venetian rule for nearly 6 centuries:

Απόψε την Κιθάρα μου - Ζακυνθινές Καντάδες

Ionian influence passed in southern mainland in early 1800's, when the Kingdom of Greece had just been established. Locals did like the specific genre, and wrote many new kantades in the cities of Southern mainland in this 1-1,5 century
Όμορφες καντάδες - (21 τραγούδια)

I think that all these influences are quite visible in the nearly 1 century old elafrolaiko (globally known as syrtaki):
Golden Collection - Sirtaki and Bouzouki


Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
Athens, Greece
O Antonis. Theodorakis, 1974 concert after the fall of the Greek Junta. Refers to the partisans imprisoned in Mauthausen alongside Jews, during WWII.

Just turn up the volume

The Jew falls on the stair and the staircase turns red
- "and you my lad come here, carry a double rock"
(the Nazi guard)
- "I'll take a double, take a triple, my name is Antonis
and if you're a man come here, on the marble threshing floor*".
(the partisan Antonis)

*refers to the medieval Byzantine epic of Digenis Akritas, where Digenis challenges Death himself to a duel on the marble threshing floor.