Music in Greece is of unbelievable diversity due to the creative Greek assimilation of different influences of the Eastern and Western cultures of Asia and Europe. Music is an important aspect of the daily Greek culture. It has a long history dating from the Antiquity, during which poetry, dancing and music were inseparable and played an important part in the ancient Greek's everyday life. The Greek tragedy used music as one of its component elements.
Then, with the fall of Ancient Greece and the evolution of the Byzantine Empire, Greece music got a more ecclesiastical approach. In the 400 years of Ottoman domination, it was influenced by the eastern sounds. It got reborn only in the 19th century with the opera compositions of Nikolaos Mantzaros (1795-1872) and Spyros Samaras (1861-1917).
From that moment on, Greece produced many talented artists, including great composers to fabulous interprets. Music in Greece became an expression and a testimony of the slavery years, a weapon of opposition against the colonel authority and a way to express love, death, human fears, that accompanied the Greeks in their everyday life.
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Music types and famous Greek artists
Information about Greece Music types (Dimotiko, Kantada, Nisiotika, Rebetiko) and information about some of the world-famous artists (Kalomiris, Miropoulos, Callas, Xenakis, Theodorakis and more)
Folk Songs (Dimotiko Tragoudi)
Greek folk song sees its origins coming from the time of ancient Greek poetry and music. It can be divided into two musical movements: the akritic and the klephtic. The akritic style dates from the 9th century AD and it was created to express the life and struggles of the frontier guards of the Byzantine Empire, the "akrites".
The klephtic style was born between the end of the Byzantine period and the beginning of the Greek Revolution that led to the Greek Independence in 1821. This style was created by the "kleftes", the heroes who left to live in the mountains, leading a revolutionary action against the Ottoman tyranny. The klephtic musical style is monophonic, with second voices repeating a given rhythmical formula, without any harmonic accompaniment. It is composed by love songs, wedding songs, songs of exile, songs of freedom, death and sorrows. It expresses an important, bloody part of the history and the life of the Greeks.
Musical instruments used in Greek folk songs are the lira and laouto (lute), the tambouras and gaida (bagpipe), the zournas (shawm), the daouli (drum), the dachares (tambourine), the ziyia (paired groups) and the violi (violin).
Nana Mouskouri (Greek: Nάνα Μούσχουρη), born IoÃ¡nna MoÃºschouri (Greek: Ιωάννα Μούσχουρη) on October 13, 1934, in Chania, Crete, Greece, is a singer who has sold between 200 and 300 million records worldwide in a career spanning over five decades, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time
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