Demotic (folk) music

Zagori and broader Epirus music
is not well known
but remains one of Greece’s
most important
and well preserved
cultural traditions.

Below are two collections of songs.
The first is of music played in Zagori
and the second from
the adjacent Pogoni area,
highly appreciated in Zagori
and the rest of Epirus, as well.

A Zagori music playlist

A Pogoni music playlist

Due to the travels of old Zagorians, music here may have gathered influences from distant places, as Constantinople or the Ionian Islands but in it’s foundation remains close to the local musical idiom of Epirus.
It contains much of the nearby’s Pogoni music, as well as other traditions of the historical Epirus.
Zagori music, for about the last two centuries is played using clarinet, violin, lute, tambourin and vocals.
Today, several excellent bands are operating in it’s countless panegyria or πανηγύρια (local religious feasts), celebrations and social events. Of course the same applies for the neighboring areas of Pogoni and Konitsa.
The Pogoni music is the sound of deep Epirus, played in pentatonic scale and is said to come from ancient times with little change.

Perhaps the most famous post-war band of Zagori was the legendary Takoutsia, nowadays represented by its only living member, the clarinet virtuoso Gregoris Kapsalis, still playing in it’s home village Elaphotopos panegyri, as well as in the more famous Vitsa one, at August 15th celebration of the Assumption of Virgin Mary (Η Κοίμησις της Θεοτόκου).

Zagori as well as broader Epirus music has recently received great international recognition in the person of the American musicologist Christopher King, author of the bestseller A Lament from Epirus. Mr. King, probably the world’s greatest collector of old 78 rpm records of folk Epirus music, has produced a series of excellent record collections of Epirus Music, under the label of Third Man Records.