CHAPTER 5: Dulcimers in other countries since 1800 > Eastern Europe
Greece - 8 of 9: Dimitris B. Kofterós, Santouri of Lesbos, 1997
Notes on the Tunes
At the feasts in Lesbos syrto was the opening dance and the 'mazeménos' (Retracted) or 'anigkaskós' was the final one. Syrto has a 2/4 meter and is danced by couples. The tunes Geraghiotikos or Mandamathiotikos, Tenedios or Azizies, Smyrnia, the bride-tune and the Xyla belong to the syrto family.
- GERAGHIOTIKO OR MANDAMATHIOTIKO SYRTO
- Musicians used to name a tune after the place of its origin or after the location where it had become most popular and was danced more frequently. This tune must have been favoured by the Geraghiots and the Mandamadians. It follows the hicaz makam.
- TENEDIO OR AZIZIES OR MELISIMIO
- The name Melisimio is used in Evoia. Another tune in the Cyclades is also known as Azizies. However the tune possibly originates in Tenedos, hence its name. It follows a mixed makam. The opening is hicaz, second part Rast and concludes in Nihavend.
- 'WOMAN FROM SMYRNA' OR 'TUNE OF THE BRIDE'
- This tune is considered in some places as a 'walkabout' tune (a patinada) but is danced in other.
Danced by the bride in Aghiasos, in northern Lesbos it is the tune of the bridegroom.
"Slow beat, suitable for the easy pace of an official march. Played both on the way to church, for the wedding, and when returning to the bride's home." Th. Zouros)
It follows the Huseyni Makam.
- THE 'XYLA' (TIMBER) OR TUNE OF OSMAN PASHA
- A 'walkabout' tune, and the most popular on the island today. It is connected with the construction of the roof of the first steam-generated olive oil-press in Aghiasos in 1878. The labourers transported the chestnut tree trunks used to support the roof, preceded by musicians playing this tune. Before the War it was also called Ciourtiko. In the area of Plomari it was known as the Osman Pasha tune. It follows the Huseyni Makam.
ZEIBEKIKA - APTALIKA - KARSILAMADES - AIDINIKA
All these dances allow free expression for the dancer. Therefore there is no essential difference between them in Lesbos. All four are danced vis-a-vis, the only difference being the tempo of the tune.
The slow nine-metred dances are called (heavy) Zeibekika or Vrakadika (often danced by old men wearing their Vrakes). The Aptalika or (light) Zeibekika were slightly faster, followed by Karsilamades and Aidinika, or (jumping) Karsilamades the fastest of all.
According to Ted Petrides, Zeibekiko and Karsilamas, which have the same metric structure, 2+2+2+3, differ "as the zeibekiko is much slower than the karsilamas and its metre is not 9/8, but 9/4. However an allegro 9/4 zeibekiko and a 9/8 adagio karsilamas would have the same tempo."
- ADRAMITIANO OR PIGHIANO ZEIBEKIKO
- The makam is Huseyni from D. It possibly originates in Adramitiano of Asia Minor. It was the favored tune of the 'meraklides' (Cool guys) of Pigi. (The name Adramitiano has also been given to a different zeibekiko with a different metric structure.)
- A zeibekiko tune which means 'wonderful' and 'vivid impression'. It originated in Asia Minor, and is danced in several areas of Greece. The makam is hitzaskiar and the meter 2+2+2+3 (9/4).
- ZEIBEKIKO FROM AIVALI
- A catchy tune, with many variations whenever performed. Known as Zeibekiko in East. The makam is sabah and the metre is structured 2+2+2+3.
- HEAVY VRAKADIKO.
- A slow instrumental tune, usually danced by old men wearing vrakes. It is also called 'from Phokea', suggesting that it originated in Asia Minor. The metric structure is 2+2+2+3 and follows the Makam Rast.
- APTALIKA OR ALLEGRO ZEIBEKIKA
- Faster than the Vrakadika, structured 3+2+2+2. The tune Karsilama of Lesvos or of Agiassos belongs to the category of aptalika zeibekika or zeibekiki karsilamades. It is better known around Agiassos. Divided into six parts it follows the hicaz makam except the fifth part which changes to rast before returning again to Hicaz.
A Karsilamas is even faster than an Aptaliko Zeibekiko and structured 2+2+2+3. The tune Old Karsilama belongs here. Danced mainly around Agiassos it follows the Huseini Makam.
The Aidinika or 'Jumping' karsilamades, are faster still. Their metric structure is 2+2+2+3.
The tune Aise is a 'jumping' ('petachto') karsilama. Well-known all around the Eastern Mediterranean, it is in Karzigar Makam.
HASAPIKO OR KASAPIKO
Traditionally a male dance, it is usually danced by two men. It dates back to the Byzantine era, when it was the dance of the Butcher Association (Hasapides) , who 'regale on tasty delicacies (meze) and wine, and then hold clasp each other's shoulders and stagger home.' (Papachristos, 1972, 117)
Three variations of the traditional hasapiko were danced on the coasts of Asia Minor, the islands of the eastern Aegean and in N. Greece, in various tempos. As the bouzouki and the baglamas became increasingly popular, it evolved into something quite different, a modern standardized choreography, danced all over the country, mistakenly considered by tourists to be the typical Greek dance. The name of this modern form is 'syrtaki', the dance of 'Zorba the Greek' in the famous movie.
In the past, its name differed in each area. The commonest names are kasapiko, hasapiko, kasabiko, makelarikos, and hasapia. Its metre is 2/4 or, according to others, 4/4 and today is danced slowly, at a medium pace or quickly.
- HASAPIKO POLITIKO
- This hasapiko originates in Istanbul, ('Poli', the city.) It follows the nikriz makam. Rarely danced in Lesbos.
- KASAPIKO BULGARA
- Better known around Agiassos. Consists of three musical phrases. The first one in nikriz makam, the second in rast and the third huseini. It opens slowly (heavy hasapiko) but the following two parts are in double tempo.