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Rebetiko recognised by UNESCO
Rebetiko has been inscribed on the UNESCO representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
According to the UNESCO decision "Rebetiko is a musical and cultural expression directly linked to song and dance that initially spread among urban working-class populations. Rebetiko songs are now a standardized repertoire in social occasions, containing invaluable references to the customs and traditions of a particular way of life. Rebetiko is transmitted orally, as well as by the media and in music schools, conservatories and universities, and musicians and enthusiasts continue to play a key role in keeping the practice alive."
Rebetiko was initially associated with the lower classes of society - an urban subculture that first emerged in the coastal areas of Asia Minor in Smyrna (Izmir) in the late 19th and early 20th century, and later in Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki when millions of refugees fled Asia Minor in the 1920’s. The cradles of the genre were the ouzeri taverns, the hashish dens and even prisons. Since the 1930´s there have been several waves of Rebetiko revival with recordings by artists such as Manolis Chiotis and Grigoris Bithikotsis and later on in the 70´s by Sotiria Bellou and Giorgos Dalaras. Modern Rebetiko features instruments such as the bouzouki, the baglamas and the guitar.
If you would like to hear Rebetiko played live there is a regular monthly series at London venue Green Note with Rebet Asker playing beautiful Greek songs from all eras and styles. Tsitsanis, Mitsakis, Hiotis. Theodorakis, Hadjidakis, Loizos, Korakakis and many others. With Marina Deligianni (vocals), Pavlos Carvalho (bouzouki/vocals) and Christos Seas (guitar/vocals). The next performance will be on Sunday 14th January at 2.30pm, details here.