Musical Tradition | Folklore | About Naxos
Naxos Musical tradition
Out of all the Cycladic islands only Naxos today has such a lively tradition in music and dancing.
For the young Naxians or Axiotakia (a person from Naxos is called an Axiotis in everyday language) it is said they come out of their mother’s bellies dancing, because they learn to dance so from an early age, as if they had the rhythm in their genes. It is not accidental that well known families of musicians (such as the Konitopoulos, Hadjopoulos, Koukoularis families), who have kept Greece’s island music alive, come from Naxos. The island music is still very much alive in Naxos today. In Kinidaros, Komiaki, Koronos and Apiranthos entire families have devoted their lives to music: their members become singers, musicians or song writers.
The folk music instruments that are popular in Naxos are the souvliari (a kind of shepherd’s pipe), the doubaki (a drum), the tzambouna, the violin and the lute. The souvliari was used at festivals till the early part of the 20th century and the tzambouna was the main instrument used in the local festivals up until 1920-1930, when the violin took over. The tzambouna is still used, but mostly at small festivals taking place in people’s houses and during the carnival the most popular instruments (the violin especially). These came to Naxos from Asia Minor and left their stamp on the «musical» life of the Naxians over the last century.
If you get the chance to go to an island festival, you will be able to discover the beauty of the Naxian music and dancing for yourself.