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date: 13 November 2019


  • Ioannis Papadatos


The largest and most populous of the Greek islands. Its traditional music (kritiki paradosiaki mousiki) constitutes one of the richest and most distinctive oral repertories in Greece, well differentiated from mainland and other island idioms, and well supported by a long-established music industry.

Historical references indicate that Cretan music comprises differing and endemic traditions with distinct instrumentation, dances, and repertory. The existence of a multicultural Cretan population up until the beginning of the 20th century also indicates the existence of many and perhaps substantially diverse—but inadequately documented—urban and rural musical traditions. The first solid references in the history of Cretan music are available through the introduction of commercial recordings in Crete and the diaspora in the first decades of the 20th century. These recordings registered internal differences of idiom across the island and they were followed by a gradual pan-Cretanization of the local repertory and performance style. Eventually, they favoured the development of professional standards for the performing and recording musicians....

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