The music of Crete (Greek: Κρητική μουσική), also called kritika (Greek: κρητικά), refers to traditional forms of Greek folk music prevalent on the island of Crete in Greece. Cretan traditional music includes instrumental music (generally also involving singing), a capella songs known as the rizitika, "Erotokritos," Cretan urban songs (tabachaniotika), as well as other miscellaneous songs and folk genres (lullabies, ritual laments, etc.).
Historically, there have been significant variations in the music across the island (more violin than lyra in far Eastern and Western Crete, a preference for the syrtos in Western Crete and kondylies in Eastern Crete). Some of this variation continues today and in the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries has received greater attention by scholars and the mass media. Nonetheless, over the course of the twentieth-century, the sense of a single, island-wide Cretan musical tradition emerged.
Although much Cretan music remains consciously close to its folk roots and an integral part of the fabric of many Cretans' everyday lives, it is also a vibrant and evolving modern, popular tradition that involves many professional and semi-professional musicians, numerous regional record companies and professional distributors, professional luthiers (especially of Cretan lyras and Cretan lutes), and Cretan kentra (clubs for dancing to live Cretan music).
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