Cretan Music

Anogeia and Crete have a long and rich musical tradition with roots in the ancient Greek and Byzantine music and influences by the culture of the wider Eastern Mediterranean. The origins of the Cretan musical tradition are identified with the birth of Zeus in Idaion Andron, in the plateau of Nidas. According to mythology, the birth of Zeus was accompanied by the dances of Curetes, who tried with the sounds of their shields not to let the crying of the newborn Zeus be heard by his father Saturn. Music and dance are flourishing in Anogeia nowadays, something that is proven in all the festivities of the village.

The basic instruments that are used in these festivities are the lyre and the lute. On the eastern and western side of Crete the violin is also used instead of the lyre, while common is the use of the mandolin and especially in cantatas that are still alive in Anogeia. Sometime in the past, the Cretan traditional musical instruments were made by the musicians themselves. The basic Cretan dances are “pentozalis”, sousta, syrtos. The famous melody of Zorbas the Greek, which was composted by Mikis Theodorakis, is based on an older version of “syrtos” of Chania. Even today there is no Anogeian that do not know how to dance traditional dances. The Cretan traditional music consists mainly of dance tunes. In many cases the music simply accompanies the imaginative and erotic lyrics that are sung in traditional festivities.