Music of Epirus (Greece)

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Related areas Cyprus, Pontus, Constantinople, South Italy
Regional styles

The music of Epirus (Greek: Μουσική της Ηπείρου), in the northwest of Greece (present to varying degree in the rest of Greece and the islands[1] ) contains folk songs that are mostly pentatonic and polyphonic, sung by both male and female singers. Distinctive songs[2] include lament songs (mirolóyia), shepherd's songs (skáros) and drinking songs (tis távlas). The clarinet is the most prominent folk instrument in Epirus, used to accompany dances, mostly slow and heavy, like the menousis, fisouni, podhia, sta dio, sta tria, zagorisios, kentimeni, koftos, yiatros and tsamikos. The polyphonic song of Epirus constitutes one of the most interesting musical forms, not only for the east Mediterranean and the Balkans,[3] but also for the worldwide repertoire of the folk polyphony like the yodeling [4] of Switzerland. Except from its scale, what pleads for the very old origin of the kind is its vocal, collective, rhetorical and modal character.

The corresponding dances are slow and stately; they are invariably danced in counterclockwise circles. Women's dances are especially noble, allowing for a minimum of leg and arm movement, and calling for formal traditional attire: ankle-length black coats, gold thread tuques with a single long tassel, and hammered gold jewelry.

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Music: The Rough Guide by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham - 1999 - ISBN 1-85828-635-2,page 127,"The repertoire tends to fall into three categories which are also found further south mirologya or laments (the instrumental counterpart is called skaros); drinking songs or tis tavlas ;and various dancable melodies as noted above common to the entire mainland and the islands also"
  2. ^ World Music: The Rough Guide by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham - 1999 - ISBN 1-85828-635-2,page 127,"The repertoire tends to fall into three categories which are also found further south mirologya or laments (the instrumental counterpart is called skaros); drinking songs or tis tavlas ;and various dancable melodies as noted above common to the entire mainland and the islands also"
  3. ^ Engendering Song: Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa by Jane C. Sugarman,1997,ISBN 0-226-77972-6,page 356,"Neither of the polyphonic textures characteristic of south Albanian singing is unique to Albanians.The style is shared with Greeks in the Northwestern district of Epirus (see Fakiou and Romanos 1984) while the Tosk style is common among Aromanian communities from the Kolonje region of Albania the so called Faserotii (see Lortat-Jacob and Bouet 1983) and among Slavs of the Kastoria region of Northern Greece (see N.Kaufamann 1959 ).Macedonians in the lower villages of the Prespa district also formerly sang this style "
  4. ^ Engendering Song: Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa by Jane C. Sugarman,1997,ISBN 0-226-77972-6,page 356,A striking counterpart from outside the Balkans is the polyphonic Yodeling of juuzli from the Muotatal region of Switzerland

Further reading[edit]

  • World Music: The Rough Guide by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham - 1999 - ISBN 1-85828-635-2
  • Greek Folk Dances by Rickey Holden, Mary Vouras – 1965
  • Engendering Song: Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa by Jane C. Sugarman,1997,ISBN 0-226-77972-6

External links[edit]