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What is Rebetiko?
March 2, 2010 4:25 PM   Subscribe

What is Rebetiko?

My own opinion is that it is the range of musical styles, that arose from the interaction and combining of the following ingredients:- the music played by the Greeks who were in Smyrna until 1922 (Smyrnaika) the songs called "Amanadhes" the music used for dancing by the Zeybeks the music that was being played in Greece up to the 1920s, that had developed from folk music any other influences I have forgotten or never heard of!.

Previously on Metafilter.
posted by vostok (9 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
What is Rebetiko?

If you have to ask, man, you'll never know.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:53 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


From the linked site:

"Some people oversimplify, and say that Rebetiko is "Greek Blues". ...but the problem words in the definition are "Greek" and "Blues". Why? Well, Rebetiko developed when a large influx of refugees with a somewhat different musical tradition amalgamated their music with the Greek music that was extant at that time, so it isn't just Greek. And not all of it is sad, some of it is extremely cheerful, so it's not really Blues either."

The author would seem to be unaware that not all blues is "sad" either. Some of it is extremely cheerful!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:03 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a nice part of Middlesex, which is all I know about it.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:45 PM on March 2, 2010


The blues is happy music.*

*Except for "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground".
posted by kenko at 8:21 PM on March 2, 2010


From my experience, rembetiko is Greek for "drink-with-ouzo music".
posted by humannaire at 9:49 PM on March 2, 2010


I find this mesmeric.
posted by Wolof at 9:57 PM on March 2, 2010


Here are some songs.
posted by vostok at 2:07 AM on March 3, 2010


Wolof, the tune you found mesmeric, I bet you'd like to check out Mpampis Stokas's understatedly soulful interpretation of the same song, Kaigomai Kaigomai.

That tune, BTW, is a big favorite in Greece. I came across this English translation of the lyrics:

I’m Burning

Your eyes misled me
Your sinner kisses
And I stay awake to your steps
With the moon in my embrace

I’m burning, I’m burning, like match I’m burning
Love put me fire
I’m burning, I’m burning, like match I’m burning
Now that you’re away

In my veins your blood is running
Your bright smile
And when i’m not close to you
A minute seems like a century*

I’m burning, I’m burning, like match I’m burning
Love put me fire
I’m burning, I’m burning, like match I’m burning
Now that you’re away


So, talk about your Greek blues, eh? The American blues version:

"minutes seem like hours
hours seem like days"


-Charley Patton (and many others, of course)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:31 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I came here to say what flapjax said about the blues, but while I'm here, let me highly recommend the previous thread, where there are a ton of great links (including some of mine, he added immodestly).
posted by languagehat at 9:02 AM on March 3, 2010


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