Brief history of the Cretan musical instruments

The musical tradition of Crete reflects the history, culture and the experiences of its inhabitants. These elements are present in all the dances, from the slow trolling dances, such as «syrtos» and «siganos» to the military – war, jumping (pidihtos) dances, such as the famous «Pentozali», «Kastrinos pidihtos» or «Maleviziotis»,  «Lassithiotikos pidihtos», «Ethianos pidihtos», «Gergianos pidihtos», «Priniotis», «Roumatiani sousta» and can be traced from the 18th century as far as the antiquity since the majority of them originate from the ancient pyrrhic dance.

Traditional musical instruments to perform the dances are the violin (formerly and viololyra) or lyre (with or without gerakokoudouna), accompanied by the lute. Besides the lute, as traditional accompaniment instruments may be: the guitar, the mandolin, the daoulaki (only in the Sitia area), the askomantoura, the champioli, the mantoura and the boulgari. Today, bass and drums are added, but they are not traditional instruments.