Music and Dance

Crete has a rich and long custom of music and dance and much if its history and old stories and contained in verse and sing. Its best-known dance, the pentozalis, can be followed back to ancient times.

Mantinades are the most well known Cretan songs, which are progressively similar to presented sonnets. They comprise of two rhyming lines, every one of fifteen syllables, and are regularly passed forward and backward, between two members. Rizitika is customary Cretan melodies, starting from the villages in the lower regions of the White Mountains. There are additionally historic melodies, which describe wars and uprisings: there have been passed from generation to generation and are sung consistently -a refrain is sung by one artist and after that repeated by others.

A great part of Crete’s folk heritage contains the history of history, the long periods of occupation and obstruction, especially during the Ottoman domination. These songs are myths about heroism, freedom, sentiment, friendship and family, just like parts of the city’s life in times gone by.

The songs are usually accompanied by the Lyra, a traditional instrument with three strings. The lyre first appeared the Minoan years. Sometimes, you can also hear the mandolin and the lute.

Additionally, beyond the pentozali, which is a traditional male dance, there are the sousta and the syrtos. Susta is a modern version of the ancient war dance. In the syrtos, which shows changes according to the region, the dancers are held in a hand and the leadman leads them, depending on the rhythm of the song. The dance consists of 12 steps.

The Cretan dancing tradition can be very intense and with many figures, but it is also characterized by elegance and skill. One can see traditional Cretan dances at a wedding or some local feast. There are Cretan nights, which are plowed for tourists in certain venues. They may not be completely authentic, but surely someone will get a taste of both traditional music and local dance. Especially in the summer months, many artists are performing concerts in Crete.

In addition, one can listen to modern Greek music, either at a local or national radio station. In the music stores, one can buy cd’s and cassettes of Cretan and Greek music, traditional and modern.

Categories: Traditions