Traditional tunes and songs

Cretan traditional music is rich in songs and dances.

Cretan traditional music is rich in songs and dances. The main traditional genres include mantinades, which are short rhymed poems expressing thoughts and feelings; rizitika, songs created at mountain foothills, mainly of the White Mountains; Erotokritos, a verse narrative poem written in the Cretan dialect creation by Vincenzo Cornaro; and tabachaniotica, the Cretan form or rebetiko, with Stelios Foustalierakis or Foustalieris, hailing from Rethymno, as the key representative of this genre which combines the folk and urban music of Crete with the Asian Minor tradition. There is an equally wide variety of instrumental melodies and songs covering everyday activities.

There is also a wide variety of dances in the Cretan tradition that are directly connected to music, the best-known being the pentozali, a male war dance similar to the ancient Pyrrhichios, and the sousta, a couple’s dance. Many variations of various other dances dominate the island from end to end.

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