Cretan Music

The music of Crete is a traditional form of Greek folk music called κρητικά (kritika). The lyra is the dominant folk instrument on the island; there are three-stringed and four-stringed versions of this bowed string instrument, closely related to the medieval Byzantine lyra. It is often accompanied by the Cretan lute (laoúto), which is similar to both an oud and a mandolin. Thanassis Skordalos and Kostas Moundakis are the most renowned players of the lyra.

The earliest documented music on Crete comes from Ancient Greece. Cretan music like most traditional Greek began as product of ancient, Byzantine, western and eastern inspirations. The main instrument lyra, is closely related to the bowed Byzantine lyra. Some of the earliest popular music stars from Crete were Andreas Rodinos, Yiannis Bernidakis (Baxevanis), Stelios Koutsourelis, Stelios Foustalieris, Efstratios Kalogeridis, Kostas Papadakis, Michalis Kounelis, Kostas Mountakis and Thanassis Skordalos. Later, in the 1960s, musicians like Nikos Xylouris and Yiannis Markopoulos combined Cretan folk music with classical techniques.