Rizitika songs

The rizitiko is a genre of Cretan music originating from the rizes [roots] (i.e. foothills) of the White Mountains (Chania) and is sung mainly in the broader area of Chania as well as Rethymno. In the past, rizitika were performed without the accompaniment of musical instruments (a cappella) usually in antiphony (call and response), with the first voice being the main one and with the second answering, responding to or repeating the first voice. The second voice often sings in chorus. A similar singing style can be found in Byzantine music, where the two choruses of cantors, left and right, also chant in antiphony.
Rizitika are divided into songs of the tavla (table) and the strata (street). The tavla songs are sung across many melodies, while the strata songs mainly over one tune. However, there are also rizitika songs that have their own unique melodies. They do not always rhyme and their verse is usually decapentasyllabic (i.e. consisting of fifteen syllables).


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