If you like Greek music, you are most likely to listen to Entechni Greek music, one of the most common and popular types of Greek music.
Entechni music (entechni mousiki) and entechna songs (entechna tragoudia) are translated to “artistic music” and “artistic songs” respectively, although this translation does not really communicate its real meaning.
The use of word “entechno” is intentional though, since people, who deal with music in Greece, want to separate this genre from popular music, which is considered less complicated and much easier to write and listen. For most music experts, Greek entechni music and entechna songs consist of “all time favorite” Greek songs, opposite to popular Greek songs which are not exactly temporal.
Entechni Greek music – Meaning and Composers
The meaning of entechni Greek music is art composition, since instruments and melodic elements of authentic rembetika and folk music are juxtaposed in ways never heard before in their natural environment.
In this sense, entechni music is rooted in popular tradition and its most distinctive example is the music composed by Mikis Theodorakis and Manos Hadjidakis.
Theodorakis reputation is international due to the overplayed theme of Zorba the Greek, while Manos Hadjidakis is the ideal example of entechni music, with songs of highly arranged instrumentation. Hadjidakis is also “haunted” by themes such as Ta paidia tou Pirea, the first and only Greek song that received an Oscar for Best Song.
Some other very known Greek composers of entechni music are Stavros Xarchakos and Yannis Markopoulos, who started composing music in early 60s and later on in the 70s and 80s passed from folk and laika songs to entechna Greek songs.
In late 60s and early 70s, a new genre emerged; it was a combination of entechni music and the french “chansons” of the French bistrots. This genre was called Neo Kyma (New Wave) and gave us some truly lovely songs.
The problem with entechni music started when the communist parties decided to use this genre as their emblem, opposite to laika and rembetika songs which are considered more traditional and a type of music for the masses.
Entechni Greek music became the opposite of the low class oriental music (such as the rembetika and folk songs) with a more modern and Westernised sound, based on more sophisticated sounds and orchestrations.
However, the laika songs were deeply rooted in the Greek soul and tradition. For some years there was an open war between the followers of laika songs and entechna songs, but towards the 80s there was some reconcilliation and these two genres were perfectly combined in many Greek songs. Many more composers appeared, with Dionissis Savvopoulos, Giannis Spanos, Stamatis Kraounakis, Thanos Mikroutsikos, Dimitris Lagios and many more.
Entechna Songs and Singers
The most known singers of entechna songs are Haris Alexiou, Giorgos Dalaras, Maria Farantouri, Tania Tsanaklidou, Αlkestis Protopsalti, Giannis Koutras and many more. Actually some of these singers became known singing laika songs (like Haris Alexiou and Eleftheria Arvanitaki), but later on they served entechni music with commitment and dedication.
There are also many notable Greek bands of entechni music, such as Pyx Lax, Mple, Onar, Exis and more.