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Servika Tragoudia to clap along too

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Would it be ok to say that, generally, you may call a song a tsifteteli if you can dance the steps of a tsifteteli to that music? And so on, for the zeimbekiko and the others?

It's really helpful if you give as many examples as you can. You see, this brrbrrian is trying to learn to recognize them; and for that, it's great to have a _good_ example, but it's even better to have many examples, to "practice" on, if you see what I mean.

Christo, about the cd, if you just name the rythms for the songs that do have a typical Greek rythm (and ignore the others) - that's enough and plenty... And it doesn't have to be Η ασφαλτος..., you could do Μικρά Ασία instead, which is much shorter :D  (and doesn't have much jazz in it, does it :D ? )

And Nikola, about the zeimbekiko, I'd love to know more, but probably I'm too ignorant / unpracticed now to understand! You could try though.

Oh, and another thing - τα σμυρνεϊκα τραγουδια: is that another rythm, or a collection of them, or something else again?

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Geeske, smyrneika are just from Smyrne...:D Although some use the term for those songs which in some ways are similar to those from Smyrne.

As for zeimpekika. The story is more having to do with folklore and dancing things because the rhythms is the same, although there are other details in the music that make them different between each other.

Very briefly, we have aptalika zeimpekika, zeimpekika from Aivali, zeimpekika from Pergamos and also Mpam. All are 9/8 like 3 2 2 2. (Karsilamades are 2 2 2 3). Most zeimpekika of today follow the form of zeimpekika from Pergamos.

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if you come to my wedding


now that would be great. That would be really, really great.


too much honor for the brrbrrian - but yeah... what a dream.

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Getting back on topic  :D

Christo described some songs as 'syrto or ruba' - eeh... we haven't had these yet, have we? is there a special description for them?

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When musicians, so Christo as well, say syrto, mean 4/4. Am I right, Christo? However, every place has syrto songs, although the most famous come from the islands. Principally, syrta is a wide category of dances. Kalamatianos for example is one of them although it is 7/8 and not 4/4. Examples. According to the modern definition, 'Se koitazw kai xehnaw to onoma mou' from 'Methysmena tragoudia' is a syrtos. Christo, that is your job now!

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 Boy oh  boy oh boy

  you guys  are starting to get to technical now for me to explain anything further.


 OK no Not really, it just seems like I try and asnwer every question as best I can and then 3 more turn up from my previous answer.  Sort of like a paradox that resembles more closely to George Lucas  Star Wars Trilogy

  :D  :music:    LOLS

   But getting back to your questions.

I found some score today (Greek Sheet Music and believe it or not the time signature for Tsifteteli was indeed 2/4)

 NIkolas my friend I stand corrected.

 However, the SYRTO  is also in the 2/4 time and not 4/4


 What we need here is someone who has danced in a Greek Dance Troop to come forth and explain the steps to us.

  I know a few of the dances myself but not all of them.


   heres an intersting note

    The way we dance to the Sirta here in the states is differnet as they do it in Greece (but and I do say but only in Athens and NOT in the villages)

  Don't want to criticize and Athenains here,

  but the last time I visited in Greece, I wanted to get some line dancing going at a club and the natives looked at me funny like as if they were saying among themselves,

     "Re file apo pio horio kai vlahos eisai soi"?

  Well it goes to show you that even among languages, dances too change over a period of time.

  The Athenians (Greeks who reside only in the city) dance the Sirto as the same way as that of a Tsifteteli or simply put Greek Belly dancing.)  No line dancing involved.

  And another intersting note my sister observed when she visited Greece last summer (and btw, she dances in a troop here in the states)  The Kalamationo which is correct that Nikolas said is in 7/8 time is danced almost the same here in the states as that of the Syrto with the exception that the feet go back behind in steps as you move in a circle.

 But the timing in steps is just about the same as that of the Syrto even though thats in 2/4 time and not in 7/8.

   What was interesting in that she observed after seeing Notis Sfiakianakis live in his club, on his famous song he released a year ago titled:

  'Na Haris'

   The Greeks in Athens were dancing to the Kalamatiano as yes a line dance but in totally different steps then how we dance them here in the US & Canada

  Hey Can't leave out my Canadian friends can I?

 NO I should say not.

   The point is when Greeks 1st emmigrated to North America

they brought with them all of their roots, customs, culture, religion, beliefs, recipes, etc., etc.,

  So when they started to teach their children & grandchildren  born and/or raised here how to Greek Dance.  500,000 or more Greeks overseas can't be wrong as how we dance them abroad Greece.

  I don't know why they changed styles in the 21st century and even before the Millinuem occured but thats probably a new and different topic to discuss.

   Getting back to the primary point of view,

 In the latter half of the 20th century abroad Greece,

 at Greek American/ & Greek Canadian Festivals,

 The Kalamatiano was re-known to be the most famous and Popular dance of Greece.  

 Today, its the Syrto

  why this changed??

    again unsure

   but its alot easier to make a hit today in the Syrto (Rumba) rhythm then it is to make for a Kalamatiano beat.

  In fact, up until Sfakianakis release his song

 'Na Haris'

  the last famous Laiko Kalamatiano was sung by

  Tolis  Voskopoulos

  with his song titled:

   'Dio Kardies"

        and that dates back from the mid 1970's.

   What I can tell you is the Nisiotika

   songs from the islands, about 90% or so

 basically consist of the Mpallos (a slow sirto)

   the Sirto itself and

   the Susta


Now the Sustas are like a fast Sirto and thats danced back and forth in 5 steps.  

  Greeks who reside in Crete

  have their music mostly in the Sustas but they are played very fastly  and have the name associated with them as that of the

  Pentozali dance.

   Pento for 5  hence the 5 steps

    and zali for dizziness  hence you dance so fast you get dizzy righy away.   LOLS  

         no pun intended to my fellow Ellines apo Kriti.

   Geeske,  its difficult for me to explain the names of the Greek Rhythms and dances, you're going to have to find a Greek Choreographer who teaches these dances in a troop to better answer those questions for you.

 At the very best though, I can quote you as many examples as I can,

  One last thing about the Syrto and why it has become more popular now then ever before.

  This rhythm has even changed and modifeid to a great extent somewhat from then from the  Traditional Dimotiko Sirto

  such as the song titled:

   "Oles Oi Melahrines"


        "Ksekinai mia Psarapoula"

  The Sirta derived today from popular Laiko singers from Greece have changed the rhyhtm somewhat by adding

  "Kopsimata" mesa

   Meaning breaks, stops, accents and crashes throughout the verse, intro and chorus.

    So with that transition taking place

   THe Laiko Syrto became more closer to that of the Rumba rhythm.

   If you guys like

     Paschalis Terzis at all,

  his Syrta has alot of Kopsimata mesa

  such as from the song:

     'Ti Se Niazi'

and take the group

 Zig Zag

  with their song:

     'Ke Pes Ke Pies'

  and so on.


 ONe last thing,

  We wouldnt have such great popular Laiko hits today if it wasn't for the legendary  Bouzouki player and composer

Manolis Hiotis  & singer Mary Linda to come along and start this ever lasting genre to begin.  They really cleaned up the act and heres why:

To make a long story short in history,

  During the 20th century from the time of Asia Minor in 1922 or so, the greeks who emmigrated from Smyrne brung with them all of their roots & music and so on,

and we had for 30 years or so from that time the Rembeitka music.

  And we know of today that it was politically cenosred at that time because it had to do with drugs, sex, booze and so on.

  Hey sounds like things havent really changed all that much today,.     LOLS!!!

   But back then it was considered taboo and the Bouzoukia and its affiliated instruments, Oud, Baglama and so on had to play underground where the Rembetes were smoking Hashish from the Arguile.

    It was around the late 50's & 60's that Hiotes began writing love songs with a Latin feel to them

 (such as the song Dalaras sings by him

   'Perasmenes Mou Agapes')

    and so on with Mary Linda singing them from that time right next to him from one record to the next that the Bouzouki, and the Laika Music became popiular and thus now had a clean image associated to its name.  

  So with all that said every good or bad Laiko song & new singer arising has its debt to pay to the legendary Hiotes and his parea.


  This turned out to be a long letter again.  

 But when your discussing and describing historical knowledge via names, places, & dates you can't have a short paragraph to sum up its summary.


  Methismena Tragoudia will have to wait for another post

since this posting has already got to be way too long as it is now and besides

that song doesn't fit any of the Greek style of Rhtyms.

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And to all who haven't listened to Hiotis and Linda, please do so. Hiotis is an incredibly good bouzouki player and Lindas voice is one of the best ever used in music.

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OOOOO... Christo, this is a bit more than I bargained for  :music:  :music:

Thank you very, very much for taking so much trouble over it! It will be while before I can follow all of that though.

And, about the song Methismena tragoudia, your answer "it's not a Greek traditional rythm" is quite enough for me at the moment...

It's interesting, what you say about the Greek dances in the States, how they have already evolved differently than they did in Greece. Of course, they are a living tradition, not a fixed dead thing: and living things change.

After all, what we know as Country Music also evolved out of something (mostly Irish folk music brought by Irish immigrants, I believe) and has now become a new, different thing.

So maybe Greek music will have some strange and unexpected descendants too  :D

Oh, and thanks, guys, for the tip about Hiotis and Linda Mary - praise like that from you, Andreas, means I'm not likely to forget to look for them  :D

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Christo, what you say about the way dances are performed in US shows the confusion among people about these things, not only in US but in Greece as well.

When I said 4/4 or 2/4 as you said about syrtos, I was speaking about the musician's view. However this view is completely wrong. Syrtos is not a specific dance like kalamatianos is. It is a wide category of dances, the widest category in fact. Kalamatianos is a syrtos dance and it follows 7/8. In my place, Western Thrace, we have syrtos sygkathistos, another syrtos dance which follows, for example, 9/8 like 4+5 or 4+2+3, depending on how you want to count it. Syrtos of Makedonia is 7/8. We will get lost if we speak about syrta of all regions. In Epirus they have 2/4 and 3/4 in their syrta. And so on and so on. Musicians, to make life easier and also because most people know how to dance syrta from islands, play everything in 4/4 or 2/4 as you say, even kalamatiana. I could get in more detail if it is of interest.

Also, sousta and pentozali, both from Crete, are two different things, completely, two different dances. And sousta is a couple's dance. As is balos, which in fact is a fast syrto and not a slow one. We also have soustes in other islands. They are some kind of an even faster balos. Usually, in islands, all people together dance a syrto, when the music changes they form couples and dance balos and sometimes, in the end, when the music gets faster, they turn to sousta. Balos and sousta are couple dances. Syrto is not. With that said, Christo is 100% right about how musicians think abouyt syrtos and it is also true that this happens because most people know how to dance these syrta. But I want to point these things. In a few words, syrtos is not a dance, it is a category of dances with various different rhythms. No doubt about this.

Christo, I can't tell you how much I laughed with this

Re file apo pio horio kai vlahos eisai soi

:) :) :) :) :D :D :D

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  Nikolas  file

 hey I'm glad you found my Gringlish funny.

  You might say I'm an Amerikano Vlaho   Lols

 You know the topic on Syrta and other Greek Folk dances, man we could probably go on an on with that.  And when we can get some other members to comment on how the dances are danced, it will be even better.

  Speaking of Epirus  which I negelcted in my last reply,

 The Eiprotes too have a a certian way they dance to their music.

 i.e.  'To Fengari Kani Volta' & 'Astis Para ya Sto',

   that would be a tradional Ipirotiko style of dance & music in 4/4 time but when you hear the song 'Karagouna' played and 'Vlahapoula' (Especially from so many different renditions), they are usuaally sped up into a sirto which then turns over a 2/4 leash. Interesting isn't it?

  Not too meniotn the music from Thrace

   which Dalaras gave us in the cd "Mikra Asia"

    with the song: 'Giorti Zembekidon'

  That is a Zonaridiko style of Greek rhythm btw.

  and then you have the Pontes with their Pontiaka

  and the Makedonias  with the TIK and the LEVENTIKO

And so on and son

  I believe their are Greek videos sold from Greece from the legendary dancer & choreographer  "Dora Stratou"

  who teaches these steps from all parts and regions of Greece who better explains and interprets how and why there performed.


  And lastly, I forgot to answer your question from before

 the song Dalaras sings you mentioned

 'Se koitazw kai xehnaw to onoma mou' from the cd "Methysmena tragoudia"

  is indeed a Sirto

  but a Laiko Sirto  which btw this song is not that different then from the Dimotiko Sirto.

  And Nikolas

if you like Dimotika

What do you think of the Tsamika music?

  my favorite tsamikos from Dalaras is

   'To Peristeri'

   from  Kouyoumtzis  "Hlioskopoi"


 I don't about the rest of you but one of my dares in life would be to dance a Tsamiko with my buddies at the Acropolis.    Why because they are fun and lively so as long as someone as a good grip on your hand with the mandili(handkercheif), otherwise you'll fall and hurt your head.  


  then the greeks will really say,

 'Kale pios Vlahos einai  aftos'?

 or how about

   se' pio meros vyike aftos o vlahos?




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Christo, great job you're doing here, although it's not my topic, as I have two left legs!

And very interesting to read also Greeks have 'problems' to do the right steps!

Until now I thought this was only a problem for half drunken German tourists, trying to dance -of course- sirtaki!!

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I can try to tell you whatever you want regarding the way they are danced. At least, as far as my knowledge goes. Because there is so much to learn, no matter to what point or level you are.

Anyway. I have to tell you that karagkouna is not from Epirus. It is from nothing with the style of Ipirotes. And it is performed only by women.

Also, the Tik you mention as being from Makedonia has nothing to do with Makedonia but with Pontos. So, you 'd better say 'the Pontioi me ta Tik tous' :)

Leventikos is not a classic Makedonian dance. It is spread only in Western parts of the region, specifically in Florina.

As for Dalaras and Thrace, a more typical zonaradikos is the song 'Vasiliki' from Iera Odos II. Also, the best to have a look at is the album 'ta aidonia tis Anatolis' where he sings traditional Thracian songs.

Regarding tsamika, no Christo, they are not my favorite  :) Instead, I prefer Tsestos from Thrace, which is by far more lively :) Also, since you mentioned Dora Stratou; she has done a lot of work and her theatre keeps doing it. But the idea they have given to traditional dances and songs is what in Greece we call 'folklor' and this has taken a bad meaning. It is the approach that makes 90% of foreigners who visit Greece to think that Greek music is Zorbas and Greek dance is syrtaki, which by the way is not a traditional dance. I prefer to stick to the authentic, only.

Closing, a good example of a tsamiko of Dalaras is from the album 'Ymnoi Aggelwn se rythmous anthrwpwn', again with music by Kougioumtzis. The part 'Kyrie ekekraxa' is tsamiko.

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Just to say that I think they dance diffently everywhere, as in London the Greeks/Cypriots dance differently than here in Cyprus - it's just a matter of community I think.  I learnt Syrtaki (many years ago) in Corfu and it's not danced the same here.  I don't believe much line dancing is done here either, except the Kalamatinos at Weddings.

Not that I know very much about music or dance steps etc but it's interesting to hear about so thanks Christo and Nikolas who try to explain to us ignorant ones :)

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 boy this topic of dances is really turning out to be interesting and yet educational to say the least.

 Nikolas thanks for the grammatical errors,

You're so correct now that I look back on what I wrote.

 To TIK is a Pontiako.

 I don't know why I mistook that for a Macedonian number.

Vassilkos, man I forgot about that song  good example Nikolas of the rhtyhms from Thrace.

 So karagouna is from Thessalia huh?

That would explaing why I heard a different style of playing from Clarinetists & singers who are from Thesalia who play Karagouna  then anyone else I've heard it who presumed it was an Ipirotico.

  If anyone has the CD   "Exo Dertia Me Ta Glendzidika no. II"

 There is a pretty good Laiko Epirotiko version recorded on there.


 A good Ipirotiko style of rhythm Dalaras sings in is for the Greeks of Macedonia.

   'H Mana Tou Alexandrou'

  from Nikolas favorite cd  "Sergianni Sto Kosmo"

   NIkolas curiousity,

my  gut instinct is this is your favorite cd because some of the lyrics of those songs have to do with Makedonia and that you reside in that region up there in Alexandropoli?

   Just a hunch not that I'm guessing correctly or nothing,


 Now Nikolas  What is the Tsestos rhythm or dance?

 I 'm not familiar with the name of this one alhhtough its quite possible I've heard the music.

  I'm surprised you didn't like the Tsamika  at all.

 Itia and Aetos are pretty wonderful  classical pieces in Dimotika musique.


 Lynn thanks for the reference check between Greeks in London and those in Cyprus.

 It's interesting to note the dances are different there too.

Whe I visisted in Cyprus they danced to the Sirto pretty much the same way in Athens (Tsifteteli style),

 Nobody knew of any Line Dancing other then me the foreigner.

   People come now, this is what makes Greek Dancing so much fun, Surely someone in here besides me likes to dance Greek?

 I remember the 1st 2x I saw Dalaras at the end of his concert, He was singing 'Tis Aminis Ta pedia'

  and the audience from way up in the Balcony section would attempt to dance to the Hasoposerviko.

  Now thats what I call getting into the music and dance.


 Well there is more then just listening to good Greek Music becuase the dancing puts and sets you in the mood.

 And Greek music speaks to you in the heart when your dancing unlike some of this american hiphop crap coming out now in the states.

  But then thats a whole another discussion and a debate I won't get into in here.  Ohh well maybe I shouldnt have gone there.

 Well that concludes this weekly discussion on the rhythms and dances.  Stay tuned for more to come.


  Ohh and as after thought I leave you with one more thing to ponder on.

 The next time you see or hear Yanni's music from "Live at the Acropolis"

 Pay close attention to the 1st track.

 It's in 7/8 time and is a very fast version of a Kalamatiano,

 (sort of like the TIK from Pontos)

Not surprised though as thats where Yanni is from, and he is from



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Maybe you mistook Tik for a Macedonian dance because there are a lot of people from Pontos who live in Macedonia and they dance their dances quite a lot. The same happens in Thrace. We have many people from Pontos. If you go to a live music taverna in Alex/polis, you will always listen to zonaradika and baidouskes but you will also, always, listen to a Tik and a Kotsiari, from Pontos. And by the way Christo, Alexandroupolis is about 150Km far from Macedonia, it is not even in the border...we are Thracians my friend! The land of music...where it all started...with Orfeas and his lyre! :music: As for Sergiani ston kosmo, it is my favorite simply because it is the first I ever heard :) And of course because it is great!

As for the Tsestos, it is just another dance of Thrace. The rhythm is 6/8, analyzed in 3+3. It belongs to the family of Zonaradika and it comes from the north part of Thrace. And I like Tsamika, don't worry. They are just not my favorites. However, to the ones you mention, I prefer "Agkinara me ta agkathia" :D

Christo, I also like to dance a lot!

Lynne, in our weddings we do a lot of line dancing as well...too much, I would say...and kalamatianos is not even there!

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Excuse me for butting in on this expert's discussion, but could someone please tell what rythm, if any, is "Ηρθα κι απόψε στα σκαλοπάτια σου" ?

And then, do go on - I don't understand half of it, but it's all the more fascinating :)

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According to my father that song is a tango,therefore its rythm is 2/4.

what rythm, if any, is "Ηρθα κι απόψε στα σκαλοπάτια σου" ?

It's a bit difficult to have a song without a rhythm :)

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gazakas here I am to defend Γκησκουλίτσα! :sarcasm:

There are several songs without a specific rhythm!  :)

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Maybe you mean that many songs have more than one rhythm;I can take that,but I can't imagine a song without any rhythm at all!!

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Gazakas, I refer to those songs that, translated from Greek, we say that they have 'free rhythm'. Modern songs, however, follow specific rhythms. But they say that the really 'mastoras' singer shows his/her talent in these songs, that he can also 'paint', sing without following a rhythm, give his view of the song...

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I am way behind in this topic. Waiting for the new internet connection (hope this week) than I can print this out and read it slowly.

Now, what dance is here??? It is years ago (one of my first performances).



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 from what I could see in the picture,

  it looks as if your parea are dancing to the

  Hasposerviko Rhythmos.

 However, I only see 1 person so it is a bit too Vague?

  If you can modify the photo and show 2-3 other people in the line, I might be able to make a better description as to what line dance that is.

BTW,  Who is that dancing in the pix?

  Is that you?


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