Monday, November 21, 2011

Rembetika - Greek Blues


The womb of rebetika was the jail and the hash den. It was there that the early rebetes created their songs. They sang in quiet, hoarse voices, unforced, one after the other, each singer adding a verse which often bore no relation to the previous verse, and a song often went on for hours. There was no refrain, and the melody was simple and easy. One rebetis accompanied the singer with a bouzouki or a baglamas (a smaller version of the bouzouki, very portable, easy to make in prison and easy to hide from the police), and perhaps another, moved by the music, would get up and dance. The early rebetika songs, particularly the love songs, were based on Greek folk songs and the songs of the Greeks of Smyrna and Constantinople. — Elias Petropoulos
A very interesting music form - a comprehensive guide here Can anyone point out other sources or videos?

Mavrika - The Gambler from Tom Thistlethwaite on Vimeo.

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