Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Tabachaniotika Listen sample

The tabachaniotika (sing., tabachaniotiko) songs are a Cretan urban musical repertory which belongs to the wide family of musics, like the
rebetika and music of the Café-aman, that merge Greek and Turkish elements. This genre represents an outcome of the Greek-Turkish cultural syncretism in Crete during the period of Ottoman domination. According to Chaniá musicians, the tabachaniotika probably arose in Crete in the towns of Chaniá and Rethymnon around the middle of nineteenth century. It was then the typical musical repertory of the so-called turkokritikoí, Muslim Cretans. It developed mainly after the immigration of Smyrna's refugees in 1922, as did the more widespread rebetika.
Various conjectures are advanced to explain the meaning and origin of the term "tabachaniotika." Kostas Papadakis believes that it comes from tabakaniotikes, which may mean places where hashish was smoked and music performed, as in the tekédes of Piraeus. But a quarter named Tabahana existed in Smyrna and the name had a Turkish root (Trk., tabak: tanner; tabakhane: tannery). In Chaniá too, there was a quarter with the same name, where refugees from Smyrna lived after the 1922 diaspora. Tabachaniotiko was also the name of a song of the amané genre, which was popular in Smyrna in the period before 1922, together with some other songs called Minoré, Bournovalio, Galata, and Tzivaeri (
Kounadis 1993: 23). Compare the Greek-Turkish ballos performed by a Greek ensemble in New York City in 1928, included in the article by Karl Signell.

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