Music of Crete

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Description:
The music of Crete is a traditional form of Greek folk music called κρητικά (kritika). The lyra is the dominant folk instrument on the island; there are three-stringed and four-stringed versions of this bowed string instrument, closely related to the medieval Byzantine lyra. It is often accompanied by the Cretan lute (laoúto), which is similar to both an oud and a mandolin. Thanassis Skordalos and Kostas Moundakis are the most renowned players of the lyra.

History

Origins

The earliest documented music on Crete comes from Ancient Greece. Cretan music like most traditional Greek began as product of ancient, Byzantine, western and eastern inspirations. The main instrument lyra, is closely related to the bowed Byzantine lyra. The Persian geographer Ibn Khordadbeh (d. 911) of the 9th Century, in his lexicographical discussion of instruments, cited the Byzantine lyra (Greek: λύρα - lūrā), as similar to the Arabic rebab and a typical Byzantine instrument along with the urghun (organ), shilyani (probably a type of harp or lyre) and the salandj. Bowed instruments descendants of the Byzantine bowed lyra (lūrā) have continued to be played in post-Byzantine regions until the present day with few changes, for example the Calabrian Lira in Italy, the Cretan Lyra, the Gadulka in Bulgaria, and the......
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