Corfu is Music

Greek music is pretty recognizable from all kinds of music. With this typical Greek instruments like bouzouki, kithara, mandolin, tambourine there is no doubt about the origin. The melancholic tune and the dramatical lyrics, if you can understand, you will recognize it immediately. It's music on its own.

Greek Music

corfu music02There are several genres, Rebetiko is one of them. It used to be played in the larger cities of Greece by outcasts like refugees, drug-users, criminals and vagabonds. Most of the singers usually were accompanied by the bouzouki. Subjects were street things like drug abuse, life as a prisoner, violence and poverty. That is why it initially was associated with the lower and poor classes. Later it started to be more popular for a greater audience.
Another trend in Greek music is called Entexno (literally spoken: Art Song). This style is predominantly orchestral music with elements from Greek folk rhythm and melody. The lyrics are often based on the work of famous Greek poets. Éntekhno concerts very often take place outside in the open air. This trend became popular during the fifties of the 20th century by musicians like Theodorakis and Hadjidakis. These are common names for every person that likes Éntexno. Their successors were famous Greek songwriters like Stavros Kouyoumtzis, Manos Loïzos, and Dimos Moutsis which made this trend very popular. Other significant writers in this genre are Gatsos, Eleftheriou and Livaditis.
corfu music03Most heard music stream on Corfu is called Laiko. Translated it means song of the people, popular song or so called urban folk music. This kind of Greek music is composed in Greek language in accordance with the tradition of the Greek people. After the more commercialized rebetiko music came Laiko, with a different theme. It became very popular music during the sixties and the seventies. In Greece popular singers of this style are Bithikotsis, Marinella, Kazantzidis and Gavalas. Key themes of the Laiko songs are mostly love, war, relationship poverty and death.
The more cheerful version of laïkó is called elafró laïkó (light laïkó). It was often used in musicals during the Golden Decade of Greek cinema, namely the fifties and sixties. Nowadays the so called Modern Laiko is Greece's mainstream music genre. The basic instrument used for moderen Laiko is the bouzouki. Very often you can see Greeks dance on this music. One of the most popular dances is without doubt the syrtaki.
And the Greeks love to play music. In so many restaurants and bars will be played (live) music several times a week. It's a strange but nice phenomonom to see that many of the guests, if they are Greeks, start to dance.

Corfu and modern music

corfu music01Though it's not only Greek music to enjoy when you're on Corfu for the holidays. The Greeks are very musical and most of them learn to play an instrument in their younger days. In ancient times that might be a bouzouki, a lute or a cither, now many Greeks also like to play the guitar, the bass and the drums. Also the repertoire is more and more extensive. In the 21st century, with the attendance of YouTube and other modern media the new generation like to play genres like rock and pop, although they still like the traditional music. There are so many venues on Corfu where you can see and hear them play. Let's say it again, the Greeks like music; to play it and to listen to it.
Popular bands on the island are The X-Lovers, Splinter Band, Black Strat Band, Blues Latitude, Bitter Almond, The Opposite and other, which are all worth to visit. They will play all over Corfu and when you see a flyer or leaflet that they will play in a bar or club, do yourself a favor and join. Mostly you don't have to pay for the entrance and the prices for drinks and food are very fair. Don't miss your chance!
Hint: if you are on Corfu during the last weekend of August, visit the Agiotfest. It's an annual music festival in the heart of Corfu.

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