Repertories and identities of a musician from Crete (Magrini)

The Rizitika

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A group of musicians from Crete, including rizitika singers

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A tavla song: Mavro kapnó 'da ki evgaine. Vassilis Kartsonakis, voice

The rizitika songs represent the most important genre of vocal music in western Crete (see Baud-Bovy 1972, Magrini 1981, Magrini and Leydi in press). The area of the rizitika is in the northern part of the Lefka Ora (White Mountains), within the province of Chaniá. Here the rizitika are the principal musical repertoire for feasts in the villages, above all marriages and baptisms, but also for simple banquets.

Based on the type of performance occasion, rizitika songs can be divided into two repertoires: the tavla repertoire (songs for the table) and the strata repertoire (songs for the road). The tavla repertoire is reserved for convivial occasions, mainly wedding banquets. The strata repertoire is strictly reserved for parts of the wedding rites other than the banquet, that is, for the transfer of the dowry to the bridegroom's house, the ceremonial welcome by the bridegroom's mother of the bride, the gathering of the gifts, etc. (see Vlastos 1893). These activities are accompanied by songs on the strata melody and called, as a whole, tou gamou tragoudi, wedding song.

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