Rebetika Music in Greece

rebetika greek music

The best definition of rebetika is given by Gail Holst in her book “The Road to Rembetika” :

“What was special about the rembetika song was the combination between traditional musical forms of the Eastern Mediterranean and the words of the songs, which dealt with the life of the urban underworld and the less reputable elements of the society”.

Rebetika originated in Tekes (a Greek word for hashish dens) and jails scattered around the main Greek cities in the early part of this century. The music was based primarily on an oral tradition where the art of improvisation was of the utmost importance.

The lyrics of Rembetica songs dealt with the life of an Greek Urban sub-culture whose norms were outside the mainstream of Society. The Rembetes had an inherent distrust of any authority and the music was their way of expressing their creativity and independence.

Read more about the Rebetika Music in Greece:

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