The first encounter with the Cretan Music will definitely take place in some nice taverna in Crete, or even in Athens, during an organized Greek night or Cretan Folk Feast that you can attend while visiting Greece and the lovely island of Crete. If you are lucky enough, you will hear some genuine Cretan music in a local festival, played by experienced and talented composers and performers who deliver amazing performances.
The Cretan Music is an indispensable part of the Cretan Culture, which is by default one of the most vibrant ones in Greece. Intense and unique, vivid and intriguing, the Cretan Music is not only easily recognizable, but it’s also interesting in hearing, due to the numerous improvisations and personal elements added to the songs. It is quite unfortunate that Cretan Music is not that known outside Greece, despite the several thousands of Cretans that live abroad. Nevertheless, this type of Greek Music is vivid and interesting, getting much recognition in Greece.
The Influences and History of Cretan Music
Although Cretan Music is of significant importance, not much information on its history and origin is available. There are numerous musicologists presenting theories, which mostly lead to the ancient Greek Music and more particularly to the Byzantine Music, although the most recent theories place Cretan Music among the most important Eastern Mediterranean types of Music – acknowledging its influences from the Mediterranean and the East.
Cretan Music has noticeable traits of the Ancient Greek Music but also elements from the Arabian and the music of Asia Minor, which cannot and should not be ignored, because the particularity and beauty of the Cretan Music is based on this variety.