Catégorie: Smyrneika

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Smyrneika was the Greek cabaret tradition from Smyrna (Izmir), songs born in the Anatolian tavern, or cafe-aman.

Intricate melodies and popular sing-along refrains (often reflecting the musical influence of Smyrna's Turkish, Armenian, and Jewish populations), were set to sensual dance rhythms (tsifteteli, karsilama), and played on the santouri, outi, violi, clarino, doumbeleki, and zilia.

The colorful lyrics centered around love (usually unrequited but hopeful), nostalgia (for the lost homeland), and the celebration of life through music and dance. These songs required a combination of superb vocal skills and a flair for entertaining on the part of singers - Antonis Dalgas, Roza Eskenazi, Rita Abatzi, Marika Kanaropoulou, and others - whose virtuosity and artistry still shine through the hiss of surviving 78s.

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