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Nisiotika (Greek: νησιώτικα, meaning "insular (songs)") are the songs and dances of the Aegean islands with a variety of styles.[1] Outside of Greece, it is played in the diaspora in countries such as Turkey, Australia, the United States and elsewhere.

The lyre is the dominant folk instrument along with the laouto, violin, tsampouna, and souravli with widely varying Greek characteristics.

Representative musicians and performers of Nisiotika include: Mariza Koch, credited with reviving the field in the 1970s, Yiannis Parios, Domna Samiou and the Konitopoulos family (Giorgos and Vangelis Konitopoulos, Eirini, Nasia and Stella Konitopoulou).[2]

There are also prominent elements of Cretan music on the Dodecanese Islands and Cyclades.

Notable artists[edit]

Folk dances[edit]

Dancers from Astypalaia

The Aegean Islands have a rich folk dance tradition. For example; syrtos, sousta and ballos.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martin, Andrew R.; Ph.D, Matthew Mihalka (2020-09-08). Music around the World: A Global Encyclopedia [3 volumes]: A Global Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 602–603. ISBN 978-1-61069-499-5.
  2. ^ Glaros, Angela (2022). "Nisiotika: Music, Dances, and Bitter-Sweet Songs of the Aegean Islands by Gail Holst-Warhaft (review)". Journal of Modern Greek Studies. 40 (2): 481–483. doi:10.1353/mgs.2022.0035. ISSN 1086-3265.

Further reading[edit]

  • Holst-Warhaft, Gail (2021). Nisiotika: music, dances, and bitter-sweet songs of the Aegean islands. Denise Harvey. ISBN 9789607120441.

External links[edit]